Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Omega City by Diana Peterfreund eARC (3 stars)

I love finding good middle grade stories because they're fun. Omega City succeeded in entertaining me, not only because it's fun, but because it's also a tense, dangerous adventure; and it balances the two beautifully. I loved Peterfreund's YA sci-fi, dystopian For Darkness Shows the Stars. Omega City proves she's also a name to watch in middle grade.

This eARC was provided through Edelweiss for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Omega City by Diana Peterfreund
Series: Omega City #1
Genres: MG, Sci-fi, Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
Published on April 28, 2015
Published by Balzer + Bray
Final Rating: 3 stars
City of Ember meets The Goonies in the first novel of an exciting new middle grade series from acclaimed author Diana Peterfreund!

Gillian Seagret doesn’t listen to people who say her father’s a crackpot. His conspiracy theories about the lost technology of Cold War–era rocket scientist Dr. Aloysius Underberg may have cost him his job and forced them to move to a cottage in the sticks, but Gillian knows he’s right and plans to prove it.

When she discovers a missing page from Dr. Underberg’s diary in her father’s mess of an office, she thinks she’s found a big piece of the puzzle—a space-themed riddle promising to lead to Dr. Underberg’s greatest invention. Enlisting the help of her skeptical younger brother, Eric, her best friend, Savannah, and Howard, their NASA-obsessed schoolmate, Gillian sets off on a journey deep into the earth, into the ruins of a vast doomsday bunker.

But they aren’t alone inside its dark and flooded halls. Now Gillian and her friends must race to explore Omega City and find the answers they need. For while Gillian wants to save her dad’s reputation by bringing Dr. Underberg’s secrets to light, there are others who will stop at nothing to make sure they stay buried...forever.

This is one middle grade adventure you shouldn't miss. It has conspiracy theories, danger, great tension throughout and a cast that will appeal to guys and gals.

The characters are believable for their ages and surprisingly well fleshed out, even the "side characters." Gillian is our brave, smart, stubborn narrator, resident conspiracy theorist and soon-to-be expedition leader. Her brother Eric has detached from their father's crackpot reputation by immersing himself in video games, but a real adventure finds him both super capable and super scared. Savannah, the best friend with math smarts hiding behind an airhead facade, has to more to worry about than popularity and torturing "Private Pizza" once their lives are at stake; and space geek Howard learns to open up to others as they learn that weird can be a good thing. And, surprisingly, having older supervision resulted in neither unbelievably independent kids nor stupid adults. Everyone develops and grows throughout the story as they work together to solve the many obstacles they face.

The consistent tension is the real star of this suspense-driven adventure. Think National Treasure and Indiana Jones: the bad guys are close behind, but finding clues, obtaining relics and getting out alive is no walk in the park. At every step there's a sense that, if the kids aren't careful, they won't have to worry about the real history behind Omega City because they'll be history.


  1. Ehhh. I don't think this one is for me, though you did seem to enjoy it. I LOVE For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across A Star-Swept Sea, but meh, middle grade. Excellent review, Kel!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Thank you! Yeah, I know you're not a big middle grade fan, so Omega City probably isn't for you. I hope Peterfreund keeps writing more YA while she's working on this series, though.

  2. Oh sounds interesting! I'm adding it to me to-read list :) I'm going to read "For Darkness Shows the Stars" next because everyone seems to be reading it right now and I feel left out! lol

    1. Yay! Good middle grade adventures are perfect summer reading. And yes, you definitely read For Darkness Shows the Stars too. Good peer pressure at work! ;)

  3. This one sounds pretty action packed! I hope its realistic action, because it sounds fun enough to pick up!

    1. There's a ton of suspense and quite a bit of action, too, but I think it was pretty realistic. None of these kids are Jason Bourne, so there's a limit to what they can/can't do. It worked for me. :)

  4. Yes ma'am! I think I downloaded this and never got to it, but I'll add it to the definitely read pile :D

    1. Can't say no to conspiracy theory-touting kids (who may or may not be correct...), right? :)