Books by J.B. Stephens

THE BIG EMPTY by J.B. Stephens
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

In a near future, post-apocalyptic US (population cut in half, military dictatorship in Washington), seven teens meet in a small Missouri town, forced to work together for survival. Avoiding police, military patrols, and paramilitary groups, they've traveled by various means from the coasts or the south into the government-evacuated "Big Empty." One is a resister to the evacuation; two flee execution for theft; and four seek a mysterious, hidden group called Nova Mundum. In this plot-driven page-turner, point of view jumps from teen to teen and chapters end with cliffhangers. The cast consists of sketched-in types—the rich city kid, the intellectual girl, the skittish airhead—with just enough detail to keep readers involved, not enough to detract from the suspense. Add in a couple of interesting twists at the climax that wrap up the plot nicely, but leave room for a possible sequel, and you have a fun sci-fi read that will appeal to fans of Alison Goodman's Singing the Dogstar Blues (2003) and Garth Nix's Shade's Children (1997). (Science fiction. 12-14)Read full book review >