Author: Lloyd, Saci
In spite of worldwide chaos, Hunter, one of the privileged of society, is fascinated by the Outsiders, so when he meets Uma he is quickly drawn into her circle of the poor and disenfranchised.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 152754
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 17.0 Quiz: 58358
Common Core Standards
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Kirkus Reviews (08/01/12)
School Library Journal (-) (01/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (10/12)
The Hornbook (00/11/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/15/2012 Lloyd turned a near-future scenario, in which dwindling oil supplies bring London to its knees, into a family drama in The Carbon Diaries: 2015 (2009). Here she is working with a similar scenario but in an action novel through and through. In the wake of oil shortages and global energy conflicts, London society has become sharply divided between the pampered Citizens and a shadowy organization of Outsiders. Citizens live plugged into a massive network via an eyepiece, while Outsiders are known for their acrobatic free-running skills that carry them up walls, across rooftops, and away from the brutal crackdowns of the Kossack police force. (If you’re thinking of The Matrix, you’re not far off.) Hunter, a teen Citizen, and Uma, daughter of an Outsider leader, join up to protect vital Outsider information. Lloyd’s heady action sequences are so descriptive that they slow down the flow at times, but the rebellious spirit of its stick-it-to-the-man heart beats proudly on the sleeve of this propulsive novel that, as to be expected, looks to be a first volume. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2012 In the hyper-surveilled, highly stratified London of the future, privileged Citizens, who value security and technology, are pitted against disenfranchised Outsiders, who value community and freedom and recognize the price of the Citizens’ way of living. Hunter longs for a taste of real life that hasn’t been sanitized and sensationalized by the virtual reality overlays that heighten Citizen existence, and he falls in with Outsider Uma after a police raid on a funeral she’s attending forces her to entrust him with an artifact holding codes key to the Outsiders’ underground virtual network. From there, the unlikely allies must work together to locate the next Keeper of the Codes to replace Uma’s arrested aunt. Unfortunately, their chemistry doesn’t justify the focus on to their budding romance, as both characters are more avatars of their respective societies than individuals with unique yearnings. The quest itself illuminates the central social conflict but doesn’t move it forward—Uma and Hunter are essentially fighting to maintain plans that are already in motion—which makes for an unsatisfying arc as all the nail-biting near-misses resolve into a conclusion that looks much like the beginning, with the exception of Hunter’s place in it. Still, Lloyd is careful to show the cost to the oppressors as well as the oppressed in this bleak extrapolated future, and both halves of society are well developed with complex dynamics. Hand this to readers who are interested in an action-heavy, plugged-in dystopia with a social conscience and who have already exhausted Lloyd’s earlier variations on the subject (The Carbon Diaries 2015, BCCB 6/09, etc.). CG - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2013 Gr 7–10—Even though Hunter is a rich, privileged Citizen, he sometimes goes to the edge of the slums, where the Outsiders live, and practices jumping between buildings and moving acrobatically. It's a great distraction from reality, such as the power outages that happen frequently in this future, energy-diminished London. For Outsider Uma, jumping isn't practice, but a tool for a quick getaway. Outsiders make do with what they've got for food, energy, and anything else they need, but they're treated like criminals by Citizens and soldiers alike. Hunter and Uma cross paths while witnessing the murder of an Outsider boy, and again when Hunter watches as Uma, her cousin, and her aunt are taken into custody, falsely accused of orchestrating a plot to destroy the nuclear power plant that has taken years to build. After she escapes, Uma and Hunter work together to figure out how to protect the valuable piece of Outsider technology that she has been guarding, and how to find its rightful owner, the Keeper. This fast-paced novel reads like a movie script. Unfortunately, the same reluctant readers who would love the action will be turned off by the first few confusing chapters, and more advanced readers might be frustrated by the lack of depth. Also, while Hunter and Uma are interesting characters, there is little to make them sympathetic. Hunter's flashbacks to his past feel insincere, and Uma seems disconnected from hers. The action is great, but the story lacks the background it needs to pack its punch.—Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.