Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Tom Easton

Pub Date: May 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-8234-3209-7
Publisher: Holiday House

Fleeing a dystopian future Europe, an undocumented immigrant thwarts overzealous security forces in a seemingly idyllic nation formerly known as England.

Mila was born in the U, in the remnants of Eastern Europe. Her home is a morass of civil strife, starvation and industrial projects that strip food and resources from failed states and send them to the lucky residents of the First World. Well-timed, slowly parcelled-out flashbacks introduce the mysterious benefactor who has escorted Mila across Europe, drilling her in English, tech skills and martial arts. That benefactor dies on the perilous last leg of their journey to the Isles—the wealthy nation once known as England. People of the Isles have the right to privacy, but with phones implanted in their brains, most don't bother to exercise that right. Mila is granted a phone—the ultimate goal of anyone who wants the rights of a Citizen—but when the government decides Mila’s a liability, the phone's live video Feed makes it impossible for her to disappear. The Feed's seven-second delay is Mila's only advantage. Aided by the kind (if naïve) Citizens she encounters, Mila is off on a truly split-second race against murderous xenophobes. American readers will recognize familiar themes and a frighteningly believable dystopia in this European take on comfort, safety and exploitation.

Cinematically thrilling, passionately political and primed for a sequel

. (Science fiction. 12-15)