Reviews for Roar
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall
In a dystopian future London (walled off following the Animal Plague), mutant twins Ellie and Mika are in trouble. Ellie, kidnapped, is presumed dead by everyone but Mika, who must enter a virtual-reality arcade-game contest to win a chance at finding her. The book has plenty of fast-paced action, a deeply disturbing setting, and the expected Big Secret. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2009 March #2
On a future Earth, 12-year-old Ellie pilots a fighter pod from an orbiting space station to England. Although she's determined to reunite with her parents and twin brother Mika, she is recaptured by government agents. How Mika discovers the secrets of their dystopian society and begins to seek a peaceful solution to them propels the exciting, suspenseful plot. In fact, this compulsive read should not be started at bedtime if readers intend to get any sleep. Echoes of Ender's Game and the Tripod Trilogy lend interest to Clayton's skillful blending of science-fiction tropes into an original novel. Transportation pods, monstrous cyborg animals, advanced healing techniques and the scientific study of ESP provide the details that make this world work. The book's climax, although satisfying in itself, does not resolve all readers' questions or tie up the loose ends that provide an enticing glimpse of possibilities for future volumes. Since it ends with a walloping cliffhanger, here's hoping a sequel appears in our not-too-distant future. (Science fiction. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Media Connection Reviews 2009 May/June
In a future Earth, the rich and powerful have convinced the masses that efforts to eradicate plague-ridden animals have rendered all but the top one-third of Earth uninhabitable. The rich enjoy the levels closest to the sunshine, while the poor live on mold grown as food. Mal, minister of youth development, has been given the task of fitting the poorer youth for war against the super powerful few. He is using video games to develop their skills, as well as feeding them vitamins and sending them to special gyms. Mal had kidnapped Ellie, and her twin brother, Mika, knows he must win Mal?s contests, if he wants to see her again. All of this comes out as the book progresses. Only Mika senses Mal?s sinister motive. It?s quite a scenario, but it all works together with great battles, group dynamics, and weird challenges. The bad guys are easy to dislike, and the good kids are believable. The ending that leaves the reader hanging sets up a sequel, but left me a bit dissatisfied. Pair this with the Shadow Children series (Simon & Schuster) by Margaret Peterson Haddix or the Ender series (Tom Doherty Associates) by Orson Scott Card. Recommended. Sherry Hoy, Library Media Specialist, Tuscarora JHS, Mifflintown, Pennsylvania ¬ 2009 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
School Library Journal Reviews 2009 May
Gr 5-8--In a bleak future, humans use terrible chemicals to fight The Animal Plague that causes all of the world's animals to go rabid and renders most of the planet uninhabitable. The population now cowers in overcrowded walled cities. Mika, 12, and his parents live in London in terrible conditions. His twin, Ellie, supposedly drowned a year earlier, but Mika is convinced that she still lives. He's right. The story begins with Ellie and a tiny monkey named Puck fleeing a spaceship in a stolen Pod Fighter. Sadly, their attempt to escape is foiled by the evil Mal Gorman, who has a plan to co-opt the entire first generation of children born after the Plague and make them into an army for his own nefarious purposes. And Gorman has special plans for kids like Mika and Ellie, whose mutations give them unique abilities. To save his sister, Mika will have to win a contest involving simulator battle games and many deadly challenges, using abilities he never knew he had. The story starts fast and never slows down. While the bad guys are a bit stereotypical, the good guys are interesting and realistic. There's a touch of the supernatural, some interesting philosophical questions, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave readers hungry for more. Give this one to readers not quite ready for Orson Scott Card.--Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library [Page 102]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2009 August
In a future in which animals have contracted a horrible plague that makes them hungry for human flesh, all humans retreat to the northern part of the world behind The Wall. While the rich reside in golden turrets above London, the masses are forced to live in flooded slums. Thirteen-year-old Mika knows that his twin sister is still alive despite government claims that she drowned. When the Youth Development Foundation holds a contest for a chance to fly a real Pod Fighter, Mika knows it is his only chance of finding his sister Clayton's debut novel is a sure-fire hit with teens young and old alike. Boys especially will like the action- and suspense-packed story, filled with harpoon guns, video games, and espionage. The plot is jumbled, going in many different directions, which might distract older readers while at the same time holding teens with shorter attention spans. The novel's extensive length sets up a sequel, allowing readers a chance to look forward to another action-packed volume. The world is creative and filled with secrets and danger at every turn, keeping readers guessing which direction the characters will be forced to go next. Although not the most polished or sophisticated of novels, it will prove popular with teens, with little violence and no objectionable language. Teens will roar for more of this must-have for any library.--Robbie Johnston 3Q 5P M J S Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.