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AVATARS, BOOK ONE by Tui T. Sutherland

AVATARS, BOOK ONE

So This Is How It Ends

By Tui T. Sutherland

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-075024-3
Publisher: Eos/HarperCollins

In an opener that’s stronger on character development than internal logic, Sutherland introduces a handful of teenagers with supernatural abilities who are suddenly cast seven decades into a future nearly devoid of humanity but well populated with robot predators and gene-spliced chimeras. For no evident reason beyond boosting the page count, all but one of the scattered protagonists have to travel thousands of miles, surviving various attacks in often-contrived ways in order to meet one another in New York’s Central Park. There, they learn that they are each members of a particular ancient pantheon, reborn to fight one another in an upcoming struggle for supremacy. Though dropping hints of this from the series title on, the author keeps both characters and readers in the dark too long. She is also inconsistent with details and invests scenario and cast alike with a glossy, designed feel reminiscent of classier video games. That last may actually draw some readers, but so far Sutherland only promises the level of imagination and humor that Rick Riordan delivers in his similarly premised Lightning Thief (2005) and Sea of Monsters (April 2006). (Fantasy. 11-13)