An original premise dominates this latest dystopia: A city has floated above the Earth, apparently for millennia. Is it a prison or a refuge?
Sixteen-year-old Morgan feels trapped on Internment, her city that floats on a rock in the sky. Her brother Lex tried to jump from their island, only to go blind in the attempt. As the story slowly unfolds, readers learn that Internment is a totalitarian monarchy. Morgan’s best friend, Pen, loves her life on Internment, believing all the propaganda even as she enjoys flouting the suffocating rules. Morgan, however, learns that the king and his government do not merely closely watch those they suspect of nonconformity—sometimes they kill them. When a girl is found murdered and excerpts from a subversive paper the dead girl had written begin to appear, Morgan finds herself pulled ever more strongly into opposition. DeStefano creates a believable world in her sky city, with a nicely done police-state theme. If the story moves along slowly, related in Morgan’s flat present-tense narration, it remains interesting enough. Characters are developed well, including the dead girl through her quotations. Suspense builds slowly as the plot unfolds, ending, of course, on a cliffhanger.
The setting may be novel enough to keep readers going. (Dystopian adventure. 12 & up)