cover image The Arctic Code

The Arctic Code

Matthew J. Kirby. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-222487-3

The Earth has entered a new Ice Age in this initial installment of Kirby’s Dark Gravity Sequence, and a girl braves the killing cold of the Arctic when she goes in search of her missing mother. Eleanor Perry’s mother is a geologist working in Alaska. Just before she vanishes, she sends Eleanor a mysterious message filled with information Eleanor must keep safe. Worried, Eleanor stows aboard a plane headed for Alaska, little knowing that she’s embarking upon a wild and dangerous escapade. The Earth’s new layer of ice may not be entirely natural, and the powerful Global Energy Trust, led by the brilliant Dr. Skinner, may not be entirely trustworthy. As always, Kirby (The Lost Kingdom) delivers a fast-paced, intense story, albeit one that goes off the rails a little as it shifts from a subzero struggle for survival to something much stranger, larger, and more unpredictable. However, readers should still find it easy to root for headstrong, resourceful Eleanor as she barrels ahead, heedless of consequences, trying to save her mother. Ages 8–12. Agent: Stephen Fraser, Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. (Apr.)