(Edge of Extinction)
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-06-241622-3 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-06-241624-7 $9.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 4-7
In a future where bioengineered dinosaurs dominate the earth, twelve-year-old orphan Sky Mundy survives, along with the rest of the supposed last of the human race, in rigidly controlled underground compounds. A message from her presumed-dead father, though, soon sends her out into the dangerous upside with best friend Shawn in tow, but the pair quickly realizes they aren’t prepared to survive the great outdoors. Fortunately they are rescued from a T. rex attack by young Todd, who leads them back to his hidden village in the trees. After being attacked by marines from the compound, the three adventurers journey north, but their expedition may uncover more secrets than they expected, including clues to a dangerous truth compound leaders will kill to keep hidden. This gripping survival adventure offers readers a potent mix of creative setting, edge-of-your-seat plotting, and admirable heroes. The world building is particularly strong, balancing the campy, the terrifying, and the dystopian, with plenty of engaging details like dinosaur pets and a treehouse worthy of the Swiss Family Robinson. Sky and friends are equally [End Page 477] appealing, bringing their own strengths and foibles to the mix. Perfect for readers who have carried their love of dinosaurs into middle school, the novel is also a strong fit for readers who want dystopias but aren’t quite ready for the bleakness of The Hunger Games. Unresolved mysteries and a few surprising last-minute reveals leave plenty for the adventurers to learn in expected sequels and will leave readers hungry for more.