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THE FIRES OF NEW SUN by Michael Kinch


From the Blending Time series, volume 2

by Michael Kinch

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Jan. 8th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7387-3076-9
Publisher: Flux

Three teens fight bandits in a future Africa as they attempt to rebuild civilization on the continent.

This sequel to the effective dystopia The Blending Time (2010) relies on some knowledge of the previous book but offers excellent suspense and some attractive characterizations. The multicultural teens, Jaym, Reya and D’Shay, meet again after Jaym and D’Shay have defeated the “’gades” (renegades) that attacked their village. Now they trek across the waterless savanna to find an outpost of New Sun, the organization behind their original mission to Africa. All their efforts will fall apart, however, if a strong force of ’gades succeeds in wiping out their camp. Much of the story centers on their preparations for the coming attack, and it really takes off when the fight begins. Kinch makes the action truly exciting, but, sadly, it obscures the inventiveness of the dystopia somewhat. Although the story takes place in the 2070s, there's plenty for contemporary teens to recognize. The three main characters come across as real people, although some in the supporting cast feel one-dimensional, such as the unpleasant Aussie Tarkin. Ultimately, as a war story, the book works beautifully. 

For some great action, this can’t be beat. (Dystopian action. 12 & up)