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Omega City by Diana Peterfreund

Omega City

by Diana Peterfreund

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Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Seeing the children explore such the strange but wonderful Omega City was deliciously satisfying.

Opening Sentence: It started with a fire.

The Review:

Gillian’s father has been ruined. He’s been a popular author and historian for years, but when his primary source for his newest book was destroyed by the water pipes flooding, he had no evidence to back himself up when people started calling his theories a fraud. But Gillian is starting to think that it wasn’t a water pipe that ruined the famous war scientist Dr. Underburg’s diary. And when a series of clues planted by him lead them to a huge discovery, they get more than they bargained for. What started as an attempt to restore their father’s reputation creates a race against the clock and some gun-hefting adults as they explore the dangerous but wonderful Omega City.

I’ll admit, I am mostly a YA reader. Sure, there are certain middle grade books that I absolutely adore and have reread countless times, but only a select few that are close to my heart. So when I got a middle grade book to review I wasn’t sure how to feel. Would the writing be juvenile? Would the characters be immature? The last middle grade I reviewed put a sour taste over the idea of a middle grade, but I knew that I couldn’t judge this book by my previous reads, so I jumped right in and hoped for the best. I’m happy to say it exceeded all my expectations and more! I finished this novel within a day and I was gripped by the action and ever-twisting plotline. The characters were obviously younger than the usual ones I read from, but I found myself adoring them all the same.

Our main character, Gillian, or “Gills” to some, was a lot of fun to read from. She was passionate, loyal, and believed strongly in her values. It was sometimes funny just how strongly she held on to her beliefs — there were tons of random conspiracy theories she agreed with and tons that she scoffed, and the other characters teased her about it relentlessly. Well, until one of her most outrageous ideas turned out to be correct. The other characters were just as rich and complex. Savanna was the popular girl at school, dumbing herself down to seem good to her peers, with an insane and hilarious crush on a three year older pizza guy. Howard was the resident nerd, and I liked how his complete lack of social skills developed into someone who could make a couple jokes every once and a while. Eric was Gillian’s brother, and I loved their relationship so much and how their family bond was so prominent.

The mystery was completely filled with twists, turns, and plot twists. Right from the get-go we are launched into an adventure that was nonstop and action-packed. The clues weren’t easy, but they weren’t too difficult either, and watching the characters decipher their meaning was awesome. One of my favorite parts about this novel was how we were taught about the Cold War as our characters immersed in its history. Hearing about all the cool inventions by Underburg and his beliefs made me want to research him — too bad my English research paper was just due. His best invention was the Omega City. Seeing the children explore such the strange but wonderful Omega City was deliciously satisfying. I was so excited to see the next thing that would happen in this book that I could hardly put it down!

Altogether this book was a worldwind of action, humor, and fun. There were lots of surprises and the middle grade dialogue flowed very realistically. I have a brother the same age who is a gamer same as Eric and what Eric said I could very well imagine coming out of my brother’s mouth. There wasn’t a romance is this novel, but there didn’t need to be. The relationships between friends and family was more than enough. Thinking and writing about this book right now is making me want to dive in again and reread. Ugh, the horror though — it’s not a standalone. I have to wait a whole year for the final resolution! It didn’t even leave with a cliffhanger, I just want more of Omega City! This novel was super fun!

Notable Scene:

Some secrets are small- the size of a battery, or a button, or a scrap of paper. Other secrets are so big they can bury a man alive, or tear apart a family . . . or even destroy the world.

Omega City was both.

FTC Advisory: Balzar + Bray/HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Omega City. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Jun 27, 2015 |
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