- Horizon by Scott Westerfeld
ISBN 978-0-545-91677-6 $16.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 5-7
Westerfeld lends his considerable skill to this first novel in a planned series that will feature a new author for each of seven volumes, all tied to an online video game. This sort of multi-platform release has certainly been done before, but with Jennifer Nielsen up next for book two, this series has heavy-hitting authorial anchoring. This volume sets up the premise: a group of diverse kids all end up on the same plane. Said plane crashes, the kids are the only survivors, and they find themselves shockingly off course (or exactly where they were secretly meant to be) in some sort of jungle environment where gravity can be altered. Some kids thrive while others struggle in this unfamiliar place (though all seem remarkably quick to bounce back from the deaths of their fellow passengers), but they all share an unfamiliarity with the local flora and fauna and a need to find a way to survive. There’s a lot of set up of characters and location in this first outing, but there’s still plenty of danger, cool action scenes (messing around with gravity is irresistible), and a gripping setting to draw readers back to the next entry.