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Author: Ross, Joel N.
In this futuristic high-stakes adventure, humanity clings to cities on the highest mountain peaks above the deadly Fog, and airships transport the pirates of the skies. Daring 13-year-old tetherboy Chess and his salvage crew must face the dark plans of Lord Kodoc and work to save their beloved Mrs. E.
Fog Diver, 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 176263
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 68326
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/15/15)
School Library Journal (03/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (07/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2015 Gr 4–6—It's been years since the formation of the deadly Fog that drove the last people from the surface of the Earth. The only remaining humans live in towns high in the mountaintops. With few resources, it's a hard life. For a slum kid like Chess, working on a salvage airship is the best way to keep from starving. As his ship's tetherboy, Chess must dive into the Fog and recover relics from Earth that can be traded for food for his crew. Most tether boys don't last a year. Those who avoid the Fog sharks eventually succumb to Fog sickness in the end. All except Chess. For Chess, the Fog never hurts. Chess's deepest secret is that he was born in the Fog, and it has marked him. His whole life, Chess has kept his head down and avoided notice. Now things are changing. Mrs. E., Chess's guardian, is dying of Fog sickness, and Chess and his friends must race against the clock to get her to the cure. Unfortunately, the greedy Lord Kodoc has found out about Chess's affinity for Fog and has made other plans. With plenty of action, and characters who are as precocious as they are prodigious at their airship duties, this is a fun beginning to a unique new series. An abundance of pop culture references gone hilariously wrong add appeal for reluctant readers. Oh, and there are air pirates! VERDICT A solid choice for fans of adventure series or speculative fiction.—Liz Overberg, Darlington School, Rome, GA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/01/2015 Centuries ago, the Fog, a dangerous, thick white cloud, descended onto earth, bringing with it a plague that killed or sickened most of its inhabitants. Those left have either taken to the skies on makeshift rafts with clockwork engines, or settled on the tops of mountains in expensive communities. It’s on a raft that 13-year-old slum kid Chess and his motley crew live, trying to survive on what they can salvage from below the Fog and hiding from the villainous Lord Kodoc. The crew is determined to make it to the glittering city of Port Oro, where they know they’ll find a cure for their benefactor’s fogsickness, but on the way, they will need to dodge peril with only one another to count on. Ross’ clever world building, where Star Wars and Star Trek have mashed up to become the fairy tales of a future steampunk generation, is unique and compelling, and he capably combines heartening emotional growth and absorbing adventure in an engaging read for middle-grade fans of sci-fi and fantasy. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2015 Centuries ago, nanites were created to clean up the pollution humans had created. The nanites didn’t self-destruct as they should have, however, and instead turned themselves into a permanent, malevolent fog and began treating people as a form of pollution. Animals and plants continue to thrive, but since then, the few remaining humans who weren’t driven mad or killed in the Fog eke out a living above it in the sky (on all manner of air vehicles) and on the highest mountains. Chess, however, has a Fog-eye, the rare ability to enter the Fog to hunt and scavenge without it destroying his brain; this ability makes him vital to his salvage raft’s crew, but it is also a skill much sought after by the terrifying Lord Kodoc, who experiments on children to try to find a child with such a gift. The book’s pace is impeccable, and Chess’ narration is lively and sympathetic as he expresses his anxiety at being found by Kodoc, describes his love and worry for his crew, who have become his family, and breathlessly relates fight and chase scenes. There’s both creepiness and a ramshackle charm to the setting, and while Ross occasionally overuses the gimmick of having the characters spout some mixed-up version of our contemporary pop culture, the device adds levity. The conclusion begs for a sequel, even as many elements are satisfyingly resolved by the end—readers will undoubtedly think there is still more to say about Chess, his fantastic crew, and the Fog itself. AS - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.