In a post-apocalyptic world, a girl who’s never left home sets out on an arduous quest to save her sick pet.
All Frost’s 16 years have been spent in a bombed-out apartment overlooking a ruined city. Her only companions are Bunt, a stalwart robot that’s been partially taken over by what’s left of her deceased father’s personality and memories, and Romes, a wild broot-turned–beloved pet and companion. But Romes has fallen deathly ill, and Frost will do anything to save him. She decides the three of them will journey toward a distant blue glow at the edge of the city known as the Battery, which she’s certain holds the key to saving her only friend. Outside, they’re confronted with unrelenting obstacles: vengeful robots, zombielike cannibals, and a city run by a tyrannical cult leader. Frost pushes on even as Romes steadily deteriorates. Yet through it all, it might just be the mind-bending revelations about her family and herself that break her. With refreshingly little weight put on romance, the core of Frost’s story lies in her complicated relationship with her father. Though familiar, the dystopian world is viscerally cold and haunting. But after a long, action-packed journey that’s a little reminiscent of Dorothy’s through Oz, the conclusion rushes up abruptly and offers only vague closure. Kozlowsky doesn’t describe Frost, leaving readers to imagine her as they will.
A wild, robot-driven ride with nods to a far darker kind of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. (Science fiction. 13-17)