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Author: Peterfreund, Diana
Gillian Seagret doesn't listen to people who say her father's a crackpot. His conspiracy theories about the lost technology of Cold War era rocket scientist Dr. Aloysius Underberg may have cost him his job, but Gillian knows he's right and plans to prove it. Enlisting the help of her skeptical younger brother, Eric, her best friend, Savannah, and Howard, their NASA-obsessed schoolmate, Gillian sets off on a journey into the ruins of Omega City, a vast doomsday bunker deep inside the earth.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 177697
Kirkus Reviews (-) (01/01/15)
School Library Journal (02/01/15)
Booklist (+) (03/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (06/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/01/2015 *Starred Review* Gillian Seagret’s dad is obsessed with Dr. Underberg, a Cold War scientist specializing in technologies for surviving a postapocalyptic world, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. After losing his job as a history professor, her dad is now fixated on solving many of the mysteries of Dr. Underberg and his inventions. What happened to the plans for the 100-year battery? Did he ever make a prototype survival suit? And where is he, anyway? Meanwhile, Gillian is fixated on proving that her dad isn’t a paranoid nut. Her skeptical brother and popularity-obsessed BFF don’t help her efforts, but when she discovers that her dad’s new lady friend is in possession of stolen files and may be after the same answers, only for different reasons, Gillian knows she is onto something major. Enlisting space-savant Howard and his brother, Nate, the kids solve the puzzles left by Dr. Underberg and find themselves deep underground in Omega City—but even deeper in trouble. With seamless writing, a thrilling plot, lots of engaging science puzzles, and remarkable characterization, Peterfreund’s exciting tale keeps the adventure solidly in the foreground. Young readers looking for a page-turning quest should get into this planned series on the ground floor. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2015 Gr 4–7—Omega City narrowly avoids being a cliché among adventure books for the preteen set. It has a clueless professor dad, a villain so obvious that kids will spot her the moment her four-inch heels click onto the scene, preternaturally intelligent kids, and a secret that could save civilization—if the heroes can get to it first. But Peterfreund packs the novel with so much suspense, history, and science, readers can't help but overlook the traps of the genre and get enthralled in the story. A group of kids—Gillian; her younger brother (by 11 months) Eric; their friend Savannah; space savant Howard; and Howard's older brother Nate—find themselves in a race to discover an invention that could change the world. Their search leads them to an underground city built during the height of the Cold War. There the young heroes are chased and put into life-threatening situations by the villain and her henchmen. The plotting is fast paced and exciting. Readers—like Gillian and her friends—will hardly have time to catch their breath before each new twist and turn. VERDICT Peterfreund mixes science and history in a way that may appeal to nonfiction readers as well as to action fans.—Marie Drucker, Malverne Public Library, NY - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2015 Twelve-year-old conspiracy theorist Gillian Seagret is convinced that secret forces destroyed her father’s career in a desperate attempt to stop his research into the work of the mysterious Cold War scientist, Dr. Aloysius Underberg. So with the last hidden clue to Underberg’s clandestine experiments in hand, Gills sets out-with the aid of her brother, her best friend, a classmate, and his older brother-to redeem her father’s reputation and save her family. The trail quickly leads to trouble, of course, and the kids soon find themselves trapped in a vast underground bunker with the gun-toting enemy closing in behind them. Still undeterred, Gills and company overcome flooded caverns, a half-wrecked hidden city, and malfunctioning old technology to find a way out, and they discover a secret more surprising than they ever expected. Misfit kid-heroes take center stage in this edge of your seat adventure that pairs consistent action with a smartly crafted treasure hunt to create a crowd-pleaser in the spirit of The Goonies. With its series of well-plotted near escapes, the central narrative will have readers speed-reading while holding their breath. Yet the novel is also emotionally touching at times, as characters who aren’t close friends learn to appreciate each other, and it’s occasionally laugh-out-loud funny. Though Gills is the narrator and core character, the group’s success is clearly a team effort, and each character gets a chance to shine. The book will please adventure readers and mystery fans, and there are just enough space-themed elements to draw in the science fiction crowd as well. The first adventure comes to a satisfying conclusion here, but plenty of loose ends are left dangling to weave together in planned sequels. AM - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.