If you could save one person in history from dying prematurely, should you? This dystopia explores that question through the eyes of a 13-year-old girl in the year 2083 as she comes to understand her connection with another orphan, who is trapped in the events of September 11, 2001.
On the same day that street-wise Shama Katooee in the slums of LowCity D.C. manages to steal a precious BriZance bird egg (a living machine that bonds with its owner’s DNA upon hatching), she receives an unexpected offer of a place at the Chronos Academy in UpCity D.C., the refuge in the sky created by the wealthy and powerful. While struggling to fit in with the other cadets, all raised in great privilege, Shama wonders why Lt. Bazel, a Time Design professor, singled her out. Was it because of their similar backgrounds or does she figure in the political intrigues surrounding control of the QuanTime machine? The third-person narrative focuses mainly on Shama, with intermittent chapters on Maye Jones back in NYC in 2001 and Lt. Bazel. White, who has written about 2083 before (Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083, 2005), subtly poses other questions surrounding advancements in technology and capitalism in this well-imagined and disturbing future.
Readers will be eager for the sequel, so they can learn more about the logic of Chronos time travel and follow the next steps in Shama’s fateful journey. (Science fiction. 10-14)