cover image Dead Water Zone

Dead Water Zone

Kenneth Oppel. Joy Street Books, $14.95 (176pp) ISBN 978-0-316-65102-8

Plenty of action, a pinch of romance and such up-to-date topics as pollution and computer-hacking speed along this futuristic thriller. In search of his runaway younger brother, athletic Paul leaves his tidy suburban home to plunge into the murky slum called Watertown. Various events lead Paul to believe that his missing brother is caught in something very strange indeed, something that has to do with the potent waters surrounding the shantytown. Watertown proves a magnificently eerie setting--so much so that it tends to upstage the novel's plot and its characters, both of which seem rather thin and unoriginal in comparison. Although it does not offer readers challenges on a level with those found in, say, Peter Dickinson's Eva , this fast-paced adventure contains plenty to enjoy. Ages 12-up. (May)