This riveting novel starts with a question: How safe is it to remain uninvolved?
At 14, Tucker Pierce is all about fitting in and going with the flow. While his friends talk about going out into the world and doing great things, he prefers to dream small. He likes life on tiny, fictional Pemberwick Island, Maine, and hopes to take over his father’s landscaping business eventually. For now, warming the bench at the weekly football games is just fine with him. But when the island is quarantined by the U.S. Navy, things start to fall apart, and Tucker can’t stand aside for long. People start dying. The girl he wants to get to know a whole lot better, Tori, is captured along with Tucker and imprisoned behind barbed wire. The country-club golf course has been converted into a military camp run by a division of the military they’ve never heard of: SYLO. There’s no communication from the mainland to the island and no way to get word of what’s happening out to the world. Tucker and Tori need to get to the mainland to tell their story. Can they get past the naval blockade? Can they survive the sky-borne attack on the blockade? Whom can they trust? Who—or what—is SYLO? And who is fighting whom? MacHale knows boy readers and delivers, giving them an action-packed plot with a likable, Everykid protagonist and doling out answers with just the right amount of parsimony to keep the pages turning.
This first installment in a proposed trilogy is absolutely un-put-down-able, more exciting than an X-Box and roller coaster combined. (Adventure. 10-16)