In the near future, climate has changed in way that allows for powerful storms much more often. So often, in fact, that children no longer ride bicycles, outdoor picnics are a joy of the past, and there are storm shelters every 15 miles on the highway so no traveller is far from refuge.
Jaden’s father is a renowned meteorologist who has studied storm dissipation for years, but after the failure of his last project, has funneled his energy into Placid Meadows, a safe community in the middle of Oklahoma that no storm ever touches. Jaden comes to stay with her father over the summer to study at Eye On Tomorrow, an exclusive children’s science camp. There she meets Alex, a local whose farm is threatened not just by storms, but also by Jaden’s father’s expansion plans.
EYE OF THE STORM is a thrilling middle grade adventure story with basis in meteorology. Messner has clearly done her research here and explains the science behind storms in a clear and engaging way. I also appreciated the attention to world building details and how many of the future tech items are consistent with a changed world – e.g. most people eat bioengineered food because most farms have been abandoned. (One slight quibble I have is in regards to how casually air travel is treated here. If storms can pick up with so little warning that people are afraid of having picnics, then commercial air travel must be decimated. I’d imagine there’d been a ton more plane crashes and delays so crippling, taking a flight would be a major undertaking. Of course maybe I am hypersensitive about this because of the seven hours I spent on the tarmac/terminal recently because of some thunderstorms.)
EYE OF THE STORM is available in hardcover now. Find out more about it at the author’s website.
See index of all dystopian reviews at Presenting Lenore
FTC disclosure: Bought