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|Format:||Paperback, 352 pages|
|Published In: ||Australia, 01 August 2011|
The City is divided. The bridges gated. In Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation, waiting for a chance to overrun the residents of Cityside. Nik is still in high school but destined for a great career with the Internal Security and Intelligence Services, the brains behind the war. But when ISIS comes recruiting, everyone is shocked when he isn't chosen. There must be an explanation, but no one will talk about it. Then the school is bombed and the hostiles take the bridges. Buildings are burning, kids are dead, and the hostiles have kidnapped Sol. Now ISIS is hunting for Nik. But Nik is on the run, with Sol's sister Fyffe and ISIS hot on their trail. They cross the bridge in search of Sol, and Nik finds answers to questions he'd never dared to ask.
This grim first novel, set on a not-so-distant future Earth in a war-torn, divided city that could be Sarajevo, London, or just about any other metropolis, packs a significant emotional wallop. Nikolai Stais, an orphan, has spent most of his life as a scholarship student at Tornmoor Academy, a prestigious military school designed to produce top security officers. But while Nikolai's senior class peers are snapped up by the Internal Security and Intelligence Services, he is denied cadet status. Soon after, rebels attack the school, and Nikolai is arrested as a traitor, though he quickly escapes. When a younger friend is kidnapped and taken across the river to rebel territory, Nikolai follows, hoping to save him, and instead discovers that the history he's been taught may not be the entire truth. Higgins works hard to expose the religious and racial bigotry lurking behind so many military conflicts, and she is adept at showing that, frequently, neither side is without blame. Nikolai is well drawn and believable, though the story's secondary characters, particularly the villains, are comparatively one-dimensional. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 9 Up-In this dystopian novel from New Zealand, Higgins uses her hero's adventures to ponder larger questions. Nik is a mathematical genius at the top of his class in Tornmoor Academy and, as such, he expects to be invited to join the Internal Security and Intelligence Services. ISIS leads the way in protecting the northern part of the city from the Breken invaders who control the city south of the river. ISIS does not choose Nik and even seeks him for questioning when the school is bombed. Nik's young friend Sol is kidnapped by some Breken in the confusion of a major incursion so Nik and Sol's sister, Fyffe, decide to cross the nearest bridge into Southside to rescue him. They soon discover that most of the Breken are quite different from what they were taught. Members of the Campaign for Free Movement would simply like access to the same food and medicines that those north of the river enjoy, preferably through negotiation. The Remnant faction is more interested in conquest. Nik gradually reveals his identity to a few CFM leaders and learns more about himself from them. When he is ultimately called upon to choose a side in the war, he must decide if either one makes sense. Readers will easily see themselves in Nik, a young man unsure of his place and uncertain of who is in the right. The popularity of dystopias will ensure that this story has appeal, and it will also make readers think.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
|Publisher: ||The Text Publishing Company|
|Dimensions: ||19.0 x 12.0 centimeters|