This sequel to The Fog Diver (2015) takes readers back to a post-apocalyptic world in which civilization has been driven into the skies.
But humanity it seems hasn’t changed…greed, love, cruelty, patriotism, strength, and weakness still drive human actions. Chess and the other scavengers have made it out of the slums and to the safety of Port Oro, but Lord Kodoc is still on their tail. He knows that tetherboy and narrator Chess is a fog diver like no other, able to survive the deadly nanites that cloud the Earth. (Created to eat pollution, nanites became a threat when they perceived humans as pollution.) Chess and the rest of his makeshift family—Hazel, the captain; Swedish, the pilot; Loretta, the muscle; and Bea, the engineer—know if they don’t find the mysterious Compass before Kodoc, no one will be safe. As in the series opener, Ross glories in the Dickensian details of his post-apocalyptic world, winking in homage to adult readers with the insult “chuzzlewit.” Also as before, the characters’ garbled notions of the Earth “before the Fog” offer endless delight; when introduced to the concept of tomato “catchup,” they wonder “How do you race tomatoes?” before concluding that “The ancients were totally peanuts.”
A cracking good adventure with a diverse cast in a memorable world. (Science fiction. 8-12)