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A Reader of Fictions: The Storm - Gaelic Storm

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Storm - Gaelic Storm

Eye of the Storm

Author: Kate Messner
Pages: 304
ARC Acquired from: Walker Books for Young Readers via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
In a future (2050) where the excesses of humanity have lead to completely insane weather (tornadoes like whoa), Jaden Meggs is sent to spend the summer with her dad, a weather expert. Although he has not yet been able to stop the tornadoes, he has managed to build a completely safe community. While there, Jaden will be attending a premier school for young science nerds. She teams up with fellow nerd Alex to try to find a way to stop the storms.

Middle grade dystopias are generally much lighter fare, not just in reading level. They tend to be less violent, less terrifying. Eye of the Storm definitely fits this mold, but is no less interesting for that. Don't think it's too sweet and fluffy; there are definitely a couple of intense scenes.

Jaden's father is the worst. I mean, seriously. He doesn't seem to make an effort with his family (either Jaden or his new wife and baby) at all. Whenever he has a bad day at work, which seems to be a lot, he blusters at them. He spends most of his time in his locked office, rather than with his family. It had been years since he spent any real time with Jaden, because he was researching in Russia, and yet now that she's there he only holds brief conversations with her. That's it. Plus, he doesn't do anything to make his wife happy; she loves dancing, and even though there are small amateur groups they could see live locally, he won't take her. What a completely awful man.

I loved that the central idea for the dystopia was one that I had not encountered before. The weather has gone bonkers in many, but this one focused specifically on tornadoes, although acknowledging that in other parts of the world cyclones and typhoons were just as much of a problem. After the huge storms in Japan this past year and Katrina's crazy damage to New Orleans, it's terrifying to consider what it would be like if storms like these only got more powerful and now went everywhere. Of course, it's also impossible for me to read this without constantly replaying the movie Twister in my head, haha.

Also cool is that Messner added some other scientific developments into the dystopian elements of the story. For example, along with building communities that are safe from tornadoes, Jaden's dad's company StormSafe also develops genetically engineered food. While this is in no way the focus, I think these little tidbits of other developments really set the atmosphere for where the world was headed.

Eye of the Storm is a good, swift dystopian read for younger (or older) readers. Especially recommended to those who enjoy stories about really clever kids, such as The Mysterious Benedict Society.

Rating: 3.5/5

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Blogger Steena said...

I actually prefer "stories about clever and reasonably attractive orphans."

Also, "Night of the Twisters", a fantastic made for TV movie from the mid-90's, has to be my absolute favorite the-weather-is-going-to-kill-us movie. The twisters SPIN THE WRONG WAY. We have no way of predicting their movement! A man is crushed by a car and yet lives! A great snark movie.

February 16, 2012 at 11:43 PM  
Blogger Lenore Appelhans said...

Can't wait to read this one! Thanks for participating in Dystopian Feb!

February 19, 2012 at 6:07 AM  

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