Reading Level: Middle Grade
Genre: Adventure/Science Fiction
Size: 336 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Dark Gravity Sequence
Source: eGalley from Edelweiss
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through Edelweiss. Previous to this book I had read Kirby’s Clockwork Three (and loved it) and Icefall (not my favorite). So I wasn’t sure what to expect from the first book in his Dark Gravity series. I wasn’t able to find any information on how many books are planned in this series. I enjoyed this book, it is a very quick read but a fun one.
The Earth is entering a new ice age and people are fleeing to the South. Eleanor Perry lives in Tucson, Arizona…one of the cities refugees from the North are fleeing to. Eleanor’s mother, Dr. Perry, is one of the climatologists stationed in the Alaska studying how to help humanity survive this ice age. When Dr. Perry disappears under mysterious circumstances Eleanor decides to brave both the elements and people of the North to try and find her.
This book is an interesting blend of apocalypse, survival, adventure, and science fiction. I really loved the idea of humanity trying to survive as the Earth enters a new ice age; especially an ice age that is progressing much faster than expected.
Eleanor is portrayed as quite the daredevil early on in the book. So, while I found it a bit unbelievable that she would head off into Alaska on her own, it was plausible. This girl is one tough cookie, although she is also quite rash and makes some poor decisions during her adventure.
The book takes a turn for the odd when our characters find out that the cause of the ice age might have an origin that is not quite terrestrial. This started to remind me a bit of Stargate (the movie) and got a bit weird. Then there is a talk of dark planets and strange planetary orbits and the story gets a bit sci-fi. It took me a bit by surprise; this wasn’t the direction I thought this story was going to take. Part of me liked it and part of me thought “uh, okay where the heck is Kirby going with this?”
I really enjoyed all the cold weather survival discussion. I think this will be fun for kids/adults who don’t life in cold climates to read about. Living in MN (and recently going through quite a bit of -25oF weather) I found the descriptions of air so cold you have trouble breathing and freezing eyeballs easy to relate to and actually chuckled at some of these parts. I was also a bit jealous of these heated suits that the characters wear….all I have are HotHands to stick in my gloves and boots….
This book is a very very quick read. It took me under 2 hours to read it. It is written at a middle grade reading level but some of the concepts are pretty advanced. There is a lot of discussion around both climatology and astrology. I was trying to picture my 8 year old son (who reads at a middle grade level) reading this and thought some of the concepts might be hard for him to grasp. There is also a lot in here about corruption both of governments and corporations involving intrigue and deceit that might me a bit too subtle for younger middle grade readers.
Overall I enjoyed this book and will continue reading the series. It was an interesting blend of apocalyptic survival, adventure, and science fiction. I have absolutely no idea where this series is going, but I am curious to find out. I loved all the sciencey topics in here and really enjoyed both the characters and adventure. I would recommend to older middle grade readers who love adventure and science.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge