Three young people experience the devastating path of a superstorm that wreaks havoc on Puerto Rico and New Orleans.
In New Orleans, even now that Emily’s older brother has come back from the hospital, her family is struggling. Their mother can barely go outside because of her anxiety, and their father is working on a Gulf Coast oil rig trying to make ends meet. And then the storm closes in. In Puerto Rico, Alejo is working at a resort not too far away from his godfather, near the often overlooked town of La Perla. As the storm hits, the boy tries to reach the elderly man even as others begin to evacuate. Reminiscent of high-stakes blockbusters, the intense, time-stamped scenes switch back and forth between settings, trying to capture the overwhelming power of the natural world and the futility of humanity’s attempts to control it. Unfortunately, young readers will not be blown away by this plot-driven, extreme weather–focused middle-grade debut. With a mix of too many underdeveloped characters and awkward transitions between perspectives and settings, this narrative becomes a jumble of daring feats and clumsy exposition. Not enough time is given to any of the protagonists, and the short additional musings from the birds and other creatures experiencing the megastorm will distract readers.
Only avid and loyal fans of survival fiction will slog through this lengthy tale. (Adventure. 9-12)