Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Fog Diver by Joel Ross

The Fog Diver (The Fog Diver, #1)The winner of the 2015 Cybils Book Award in middle grade speculative fiction is The Fog Diver! Nanites, microscopic robots created to clean up the earth, turn to killing billions of humans for causing the pollution, so all humans now live in the mountainous cities of Port Oro or the Rooftop, high above the nanite fog covering the planet. While other humans are killed by the fog, Chess is the only person able to survive in it without getting sick or dying. He is lowered into the fog each day to scavenge for valuable junk in hopes of making enough money to cure Mrs. E's fogsickness. Chess is later told that he is the key to finding the Compass, a machine capable of controlling the nanites. He also learns the ruthless ruler of the Rooftop is hunting him down, so his days of freedom are dwindling.

Since the story took place in Earth's future, I enjoyed the mixed-up references to our pop culture. A saying the book shared was "May the horse be with you", and it said we had a red-caped hero named Superbowl. Chess knew his abilities were unusual, but he didn't understand the importance of them. Many characters in middle grade novels have the same conflict. The main characters in this book were a ragtag team of kids whose talents meshed together. There was a leader, an under-sized mechanic, a strong-armed pilot, and Chess, the daring tetherboy. The author kept the plot exciting by putting the crew into impossible situations where they had to survive crashes, escape capture, and cheat death. This book is the first one in a series; the sequel is called The Lost Compass.

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