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A CRACK IN THE SKY by Mark Peter Hughes


by Mark Peter Hughes

Age Range: 12 - 13

Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-385-73708-1
Publisher: Delacorte

Prophesied savior meets eco-thriller in this too-long apocalyptic adventure. Thirteen-year-old Eli is destined for a cushy job at InfiniCorp, his grandfather’s company; all-powerful InfiniCorp runs the domed cities that house the remainder of human civilization. From the Department of Painless Dentistry to the Department of Cool and Comfortable Air, InfiniCorp reassures the citizens that it’s taking care of everything. Eli bucks the system and his own family’s trust by questioning the glitches he witnesses in the dome. It’s not long before he’s roped in to the plots of the Outsiders, barbarians who inhabit the hellish desert outside the domes. Eli’s adventure occasionally descends to proselytizing, with wise mentors explaining the dangers of climate change and consumerism. As homily it fails: Why learn about climate change if salvation lies in a predestined child of privilege leading the suffering masses to the Wild Orange Yonder? Nonetheless, there’s enough excitement in this story of gadgets and intelligent animal sidekicks (Eli’s pet mongoose, Marilyn, communicates with him telepathically) to keep readers turning pages—though possibly not enough to make them seek out volume two. (Science fiction. 12-13)