Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony's survival is at risk. The Kampii's breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people. But can Aluna's fierce determination and fighting skills and Hoku's tech-savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt - growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains - here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true.
This book is a prime example of the times that I don't really read the synopsis of a book and dive into it after reading the first book. That's why when I started this one I was expecting a fantasy book about mermaids under the sea and what I really got was a fun science-fiction, futuristic adventure. Not that I'm complaining, it was a nice read nonetheless.
The pacing of this book was very difficult for me and I did struggle through some parts despite the fact that i enjoyed the storyline. it seemed as though there were some scenes described that could have been cut down to make this book less tedious and maybe a little shorter.
That being said, I did enjoy the story. it was fun read that, despite some difficult concepts I think would be suitable for older kids and younger middle grade. I liked that Aluna was a brave and honest person, and I loved watching Hoku come into his own. The other characters, Dash and Calli, were fantastic background characters that brought their own goodness into the characters and I think each of these characters will attract middle grade readers.
I liked the way that the story had a fixed storyline. I got the feeling that Reese had planned every aspect out and it made the storyline flow, the backstory was so well developed and that must have been my favorite part, I loved the idea that population growth had led to humans having to branch out to live in different previously uninhabitle places.
Overall, a fun story with great characters. This is one that I'd recommend to middle grade readers, but for me the pacing was a little slow.
Overall Rating: B-
Book received for review (NetGalley)
Book to be released by Candlewick Press on 14th February 2012