Thursday, April 5, 2012
Review: Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner
Jaden is the daughter of Stephen Meggs, the renowned scientist who has created a StormSafe community that guarantees protection from the monster storms and tornadoes that are ravaging the entire earth due to climate change. Jaden should feel lucky for the chance to live with her father in the StormSafe community for a summer and attend Eye on Tomorrow, a prestigious science camp for young people. However, unexpected discoveries in the process of working on storm dissipation models with her new friends Alex and Risha make Jaden suspicious of what her father is really working on for his research. The truth is shocking and horrifying, but is there anything that Jaden and her friends can do to stop innocent people from being hurt by the storms?
Kate Messner is a queen when it comes to middle-grade contemporary literature, but her take on MG dystopian does not disappoint. EYE OF THE STORM is a relevant story that contains the meticulous research and believable characters that are trademarks of Messner’s writing.
It’s hard to read EYE OF THE STORM today and not think of the frightening tornadoes that have recently hit the US. It makes the premise all the more believable, the book all the more a great read for kids. Messner blends meteorological science seamlessly into a fast-paced plot, and the book’s message—that if we don’t start doing something about today’s global warming, then the future will be grim indeed—is quite clear. It’s the best way to give kids an important lesson: cool science tossed into an exciting story, the moral easily extrapolated from the all-too-possible setting.
Some things that did frustrate me a little with EYE OF THE STORM were how polarized the adults were, and how dramatic the plot and narration got at times. EYE OF THE STORM felt very much like an “adults did bad things, and now it’s up to us kids to fix the problem” tale, which to me felt like the too conveniently easy way to drive the story’s message home to readers. The last half or third of the book felt like an endless event of friends screaming life-or-death orders/suggestions to one another, storms tearing up things, and glass shattering. Think a scene from the movie Twister, only played out over the course of 100 or so pages. The marathon demands on my heart were rather exhausting and perhaps, I think, not that necessary.
Nevertheless, EYE OF THE STORM is sure to delight its intended audience of middle-grade and juvenile readers. This is one I’d definitely put in schools, libraries, and gift boxes. Relevant, well-written, and exciting, Kate Messner’s latest book deserves to be read.
Cover discussion: I love how unique it is! I love how it keeps the same style as Kate Messner's other MG novels but has a more intense spin to it.
Walker Childrens / Feb. 28, 2012 / Hardcover / 304pp. / $16.99
e-galley received from publisher and NetGalley. Thank you!