I don't normally post on Tuesdays, but when I do, it's something important - or it's at the request of a Random House publicist. This was bound to happen since the amazing Peggy Eddleman allowed me a read of her ARC months ago. And furthermore, I really liked it! We were critque partners for a while as well and I've already sneaked a peek at book 2. This, my friends, is the next rockin' MG series!
Here's my review for Peggy Eddleman's debut novel, Sky Jumpers!
Twelve-year-old Hope Toriella lives in White Rock, a town of inventors struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb's Breath—the deadly band of compressed air that covers the crater left by the bombs—than fail at yet another invention. When bandits discover that White Rock has priceless antibiotics, they invade. With a two-day deadline to finish making this year's batch and no ingredients to make more, the town is left to choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from the disease that's run rampant since the bombs, or die fighting the bandits now.
Help lies in a neighboring town, but the bandits count everyone fourteen and older each hour. Hope and her friends—Aaron and Brock—might be the only ones who can escape to make the dangerous trek through the Bomb's Breath and over the snow- covered mountain. Inventing won't help her make it through alive, but with Aaron and Brock's help, the daring and recklessness that usually gets her into trouble might just save them all.
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Based on the description, there's no spoiler in saying that this is a post-apocalyptic story. That's been a rather popular topic in books in the last few years, often based in a dystopian setting. What makes Sky Jumpers refreshing isn't a collapsed government after the wake of global disaster - it's the portrayal of the good that comes out of adversity. With a name like Hope, the likable protagonist is the embodiment of the spirit of White Rock, a town in a crater, surrounded by green gas that will kill you in one breath.
And the kids get their jollies by jumping into it ... Say what!?
Don't worry, it doesn't kill them, if they hold their breath ...
Sky Jumpers reads fast. Really fast! I literally downed the book in one sitting, laughing at the jokes, gasping at the suspense, and cursing when our heroes made mistakes ... everything we've come to know and love about MG! The sound science and grounded bandits made the story and the tension smooth and believable page after page.
The message that this book brings to young readers is an important one: what do you do when you're unable to be what society expects of you? What if your perceived weakness is your greatest strength? Hope takes this journey and manages to overcome what I don't think I could've done if given her shoes. Facing the main antagonist at the end was as gripping as the final standoff with Harry and Voldemort ... without the magic and all that stuff. In a word, breathtaking!
"Sky Jumpers is a smart post-apocalyptic novel that I wouldn't hesitate to share with kids of any age or the young at heart."
Cosmic Cruller Rating:
Here's a portal through the Bomb's Breath for you to check out!
I'm David, and I'd rather jump into the deadly Bomb's Breath ...