Seven Second Delay

Tom Easton. Holiday House, $16.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8234-3209-7
Economical, efficient storytelling pays off in this dystopian thriller from Easton (Boys Don't Knit), first published in the U.K. Seventeen-year-old Mila has grown up in the U, a near-future Europe torn apart by war. Mila and Julian, a mysterious "Agent" who teaches Mila survival skills, attempt an escape to the Isles, a refuge of luxury and safety analogous to the United Kingdom. There, Julian is killed, and Mila is captured, facing interrogation and possible deportation. Implanted with a "phone," a device that serves as a communications device and spy camera, Mila is under surveillance; her only chances of remaining undetected are the seven-second delay programmed into her phone and the reluctant sympathy of Adam, the government handler who monitors her desperate flight. The pace is breakneck as Mila faces both brutality and kindness, while contending with government forces indifferent to collateral damage and the suspicion that Julian might be her ultimate betrayer. A somewhat anticlimactic ending either suggests that Mila is resigned to living in a repressive, exploitive society, or serves as a setup for a potential sequel. Ages 12–up. Agent: Claire Wilson, Rogers, Coleridge and White. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/27/2015
Release date: 02/01/2015
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-78344-034-4
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