Eight years after the fall of Earth, survival is the name of the game.
In a near-future world controlled by the mechanized aliens known as the Assembly, where most adults have vanished and teens slowly succumb to the mind-controlling "Tone" that calls them to an unknown fate, 20-year-old Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter with a price on his own head. To clear that price, he sets out after Freebooter Mira Toombs, who has an even higher price on her head. Her magical artifacts from the Strange Lands nearly prove too much for him. After rescuing 8-year-old amnesiac Zoey from a crashed Assembly ship, Holt and Mira set aside their differences and head for Midnight City to clear Mira’s name amid the factions of kids and preteens who vie for points like currency and barter artifacts. The Assembly is on their tail, however, and everyone seems bent on their destruction…and Zoey is far more than she appears. Mitchell’s prose debut, the first in a dystopian sci-fantasy series, is an imaginative mix of danger and humor. Some descriptions can get repetitive, and the mechanism of the Strange Lands artifacts is a bit murky, but the action will keep readers turning the pages.
Added bonus: a clear break in the middle makes this feel like two books in one. (Fantasy. 12-16)