cover image I Feel Like the Morning Star

I Feel Like the Morning Star

Gregory Maguire. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (275pp) ISBN 978-0-06-024021-9

Fantasist Maguire's novel is set six years after a nuclear war, in a high-tech underground shelter run by an ``elected'' dictatorship. In shifting points of view, readers learn that three teenagers are the cause of change and growth in this static and fearful society. Sorb is the initiator when, protesting the accidental death of another teen who was a troublemaker, he stops taking his tranquilizers and begins to dream of the outside world. Sorb's belief that there is an outside world draws his friends Ella (a musician) and Mart (a math whiz) into an elaborate plan to unlock the tunnels and set them all free. Helping their cause is renowned singer and activist Mem Dora Prite, whose own stubborn refusal to sing becomes the final factor in Ella's accepting Sorb's need to be free. Their flight to freedom is both exciting and moving. While the transitions between points of view are not always smooth and the ending is a little overwritten, this is still a compelling read. Maguire creates suspenseful action and a bevy of memorable characters. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)