Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2014 The year is 2035, and life is a struggle to survive. Gangs and fascistic mercenaries are everywhere, while the gap between rich and poor has become seemingly unbridgeable. Virtually everything is now controlled by C-8, the Central Eight companies. Michael, a former rocker determined to fight these corporate behemoths, puts together a group of six teens with varying abilities: Dahlia, the 16-year-old protagonist, is a computer whiz, while others include a chess champion, an ex-con, a soldier manqué, a wheelchair-bound former athlete, and a former Peace Corps–type volunteer. After the teens encounter a young North African, things heat up when they discover that he has come to America determined to foment violence. How is he involved with the C-8? How will the teens try to thwart the corporate plans to extend their influence even further? In his last book, Myers, who passed away in July, turned his thoughtful attention to matters of pressing global importance and issued an implicit challenge to his YA readers to become involved and make a difference. It makes for a stirring valedictory. High-Demand Backstory: The final book from the inimitable Myers. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2014 Gr 7–10—Myers dips his toe into a genre not typically found in his canon with this futuristic dystopian series opener. Eight corporations (C8) have taken over the world and society is strictly classified between the haves and the have-nots. A team of eclectic characters band together to stand up to the corporations and ultimately fight a global terrorist. Effort has clearly been made to diversify this cast, including a smart Dominican female lead. The supporting characters are less fleshed out. Though there is a final climatic battle scene, most of the story deals with negotiation and strategic planning, rather than a violent confrontation. The first-person narration propels readers forward, though characters at times take surprising or unrealistic action. Fans of Myers's work will welcome his characteristic themes of class, gender, and race, though they may miss deeper character and plot development. Reluctant readers, however, will be attracted to the slim size and easy-to-follow plotline.—Carrie Shaurette, Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2017 Gr 7–10—In one of his last books, the former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature ventured into the dystopian genre. Dominican American heroine and computer whiz Dahlia joins with a diverse group of young adults to stand up to the eight corporations and a global terrorist that have taken over the world. Perfect for reluctant readers, this novel explores social, economic, and racial divides in a slim and accessible novel. - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.