A biological bomb has just been discovered in the air ducts of a busy suburban mall. At first nobody knows if it's even life threatening, but then the entire complex is quarantined, people start getting sick, supplies start running low, and there's no way out.
A biological bomb has just been discovered in the air ducts of a busy suburban mall. At first nobody knows if it's even life threatening, but then the entire complex is quarantined, people start getting sick, supplies start running low, and there's no way out. Among the hundreds of trapped shoppers are four teens.
These four different narrators, each with their own stories, must cope in unique, surprising styles, changing in ways they wouldn't have predicted, trying to find solace, safety, and escape at a time when the adults are behaving badly.
This is a gripping look at people and how they can--and must--change under the most dire of circumstances.
And not always for the better.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-04-02
- Reviewer: Staff
Lorentz’s YA debut cogently explores the impact of an emergency situation on multiple characters in a finite space. An ordinary day at the mall turns deadly after the discovery of a biological bomb in the air ducts prompts an immediate lockdown, trapping thousands of shoppers inside. With information scarce and security on alert, everyone approaches the situation differently. Restaurant worker Marco tries to do his job, senator’s daughter Lexi attempts to figure out the truth, quirky Shay takes care of her ailing grandmother, and athletic Ryan joins others in an effort to escape. As their paths cross and stories overlap, these four teens find friends and romance, even as society breaks down around them and a fatal disease claims numerous victims. This tense trilogy opener takes its time establishing the memorably diverse and sympathetic characters, while foreshadowing and vivid staging (stores in the mall take on special significance under the circumstances) build a sense of claustrophobia and desperation. Very little is resolved before the inevitable cliffhanger, but readers will eagerly await the next installment. Ages 12–up. Agent: Faye Bender, Faye Bender Literary Agency. (May)