Kade (a pseudonym for Jennifer Rush, who recently made her YA debut with Altered) offers a fast-paced, futuristic adventure in which one boy risks everything for his family. The Robot Wars left the U.S. in shambles, divided between Bot Territory and the United Districts. Even though the wars ended months ago, 12-year-old Trout St. Kroix is still waiting for his soldier father to come home. When Trout makes one last desperate attempt to bring attention to his father's plight, he discovers the surprising truth about where his father is and what he's been up to. Meanwhile, Trout's older brother has fallen into the hands of the U.D.'s corrupt government, and it's up to Trout to save them both and prevent disaster. Strong characterizations and nifty tech keep Kade's story from succumbing to a relatively predictable "everything you know is wrong" dystopian plot. Kade's robots tread the fine line between the familiar and the alien, and her world-building shows potential, resulting in an entertaining reading experience. Ages 10-up. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Mar.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
Gr 5-7--The Robot Wars have been over for six months, and the former United States is divided into autonomous districts. "Bots" are banned, except in the Bot Territory. Twelve-year-old Trout lives with his older brother, Po, an injured war veteran, in the heavily militarized 5th District. Their father is missing. Hoping to prove that he's still alive, Trout posts a search appeal for him on the Net. Sure enough, his dad's ID thread comes back on, but the message attracts the attention of the authorities. After Po is arrested, Trout realizes that his father and brother are involved in the Meta-Rise pro-bot resistance movement-and now the police are after him as well. He needs to find his dad and rescue Po, a mission that takes him to resistance headquarters in Bot Territory, and, with secrets everywhere, he isn't sure whom he can trust. The dialogue occasionally struggles with dialect and accent, and the constant repetition of slang gets to be a bit much. Some of the most engaging characters are the robots Trout befriends-for example, steady, courageous LT and clumsy but clever mechanic Scissor. The rather complex story line includes a lot of background information about the wars and the resistance and leaves several plot threads open for potential sequels. Science-fiction fans will enjoy the action and subtle exploration of just what it means to be human.--Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL[Page 114]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.