Bot Wars

J.V. Kade. Dial, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3860-7
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.)
Reviewed on: 02/11/2013
Release date: 03/21/2013
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