With resurgent dinosaurs roaming the surface, living underground is humanity’s only hope for survival. Or…is it?
A century and a half ago, scientists revived the dinos à la Jurassic Park but also brought on a prehistoric pandemic that wiped out 99.9 percent of the human race. Now Sky (a redheaded white girl, judging by the cover art) lives with less than 100 others in a subterranean bunker that, she has always been told, is the only protection from certain death topside. But on her 12th birthday, a letter from her long-missing father arrives, urging her to deliver a certain flash drive to a mysterious location on Lake Michigan. She quickly learns not only that there are people maintaining a precarious existence on the surface, but that she’s carrying secrets the supposedly beneficent leaders of her community will kill to suppress. As a budding Katniss Everdeen—tough, stubborn, resilient, and though new to the bow a quick enough learner by the end to put an arrow through the eye of a ravening spinosaurus—Sky makes a promising protagonist. Martin pits her against vividly scary foes both scaled and armed with automatic weapons, places her between two quaintly protective guys (one from aboveground, the other below), and sets her on a path that plainly leads to revelations about her family as well as her world.
Formulaic but with enough juice in the characters and their relentlessly dangerous setting to keep the story hydrated. (Science fiction. 11-13)