Author: Oppel, Kenneth
Three young teens on a gulf island may be the only ones able to fight back after they discover they are immune to the toxic pollen released in an alien invasion.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 508962
Kirkus Reviews (01/01/20)
School Library Journal (+) (02/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2020 Gr 5–7—A phenomenal kickoff to an enthralling trilogy. Anaya and Petra were once best friends but after a falling out, Petra became one of the beautiful, popular girls and Anaya descended into self-doubt and acne due to her debilitating allergies. Seth has been placed in another foster home and even though he really likes his new foster parents, he is struggling to fit in as a new kid on tiny Salt Spring Island. The teens are suddenly thrown together when rain drenches their home for several days. Immediately after the rain, strange black pointy plants appear all over the island. Anaya's Dad, who is a botanist with the Ministry of Agriculture, discovers that all over the world, strange black plants are popping up. No one can get the plants to stop growing, and then they develop long snakelike vines. The vines grow quickly and literally choke everything else—including humans. Scientists and military leaders around the world race to discover the origins of these predatory plants, eventually coming to the conclusion that they are alien; aliens that are determined to take over Earth. With the clock ticking, a newscast reveals Anaya, Petra, and Seth rescuing some friends on the playground from giant pods that have grown underground. An observant scientist realizes the teens are not affected by the plants that emit a sweet smelling sleepy gas and spit acid. Eventually, the trio discovers a secret trait that renders them unique, and maybe inhuman. Their various reactions to their new identities are realistic and relatable as the witty, engaging teens grow in confidence and develop tender bonds in order to survive this catastrophic attack. Nonstop action will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. The conclusion is especially powerful, delivering an overwhelming roller-coaster ride of relief and horror. VERDICT An edge-of-your-seat, apocalyptic alien plants versus heroic hybrid teens adventure. Recommended for all young science fiction collections.—Julie Shatterly, W. A. Bess Elementary School, Gastonia, NC - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2020 Oppel (Every Hidden Thing, 2016) gives new significance to the term invasive species when predatory alien plant life infests Earth in this fast-paced sf thriller and series opener. First, the rains come, soaking the entire world in a three-day downpour. Then, strange plants grow with incredible speed, ruining crops and poisoning water. When they bloom, everyone develops severe allergies, but the plants don’t just make the environment hostile; they lure, trap, and digest people, too. Three teens on an island near Vancouver are immune to this botanical massacre; in fact, they feel healthier than ever, and their bodies are adapting to this new environment. Drawn together, Anaya, Petra, and Seth must discover their connection to the invasion if they are to have any hope of stopping it. Oppel smartly grounds the story in the lives of these teens and their families to personalize the world-ending stakes, and his creative extrapolation of real plant behavior in the design of his carnivorous species is fascinating. Wilderness survival and alien invasion combine for an exciting page-turner. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.