Friday, July 3, 2015

The Arctic Code by Matthew J. Kirby, 2015

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It is the near future, and the earth has entered a new ice age. Eleanor Perry lives in Tucson, one of the most popular destinations for refugees of the Freeze. She is the daughter of a climatologist who is trying to find new ways to preserve human life on the planet. Dr. Perry believes that a series of oil deposits she has found in the Arctic may hold the key to our survival. That's when she disappears—but not before sending Eleanor a series of cryptic messages that point to a significant and mysterious discovery. Now it's up to Eleanor to go find her.
This search will launch Eleanor on a breathless race to unlock the mysteries of what has happened to our planet, solving the riddle of the cold that could be humanity's end—and uncovering a threat to the earth that may not be of this world.

(336 pages)

I'm a huge fan of Kirby's, and have been since I first read his beautiful The Clockwork Three. I've been devouring each and every one of his books as they came out, and enjoying every one of them. He is a wonderful writer, with a writing style that draws me in even when he's writing about topics I'm really not inherently interested in (case in point: The Lost Kingdom). I was very excited about The Arctic Code, especially because it was the start of a series and had an alluring premise (I mean, global cooling instead of global warming? How could that not be good?!).

After finishing The Arctic Code I'm . . . well, I'm rather befuddled. What on Earth did I just read? Between the global cooling, the "ley lines," the missing people, the reluctantly kind pilot, the bullying electricity company, and the very (and  I mean very!) disobedient girl, not to mention the discovery that I can't talk about without spoilers, this is a very . . . full book. And I think that's good. But the more I think about it, the more trouble I have untangling all the different topics that are broached in the first book of the new Dark Gravity Sequence. What on Earth is Kirby going to  do with the later books in the series? That is the million dollar question, and one that I am definitely looking forward to seeing answered.

I can't say I'm a huge fan of Eleanor's as of yet - actually, she kind of annoys me. She is so "different" from everyone she knows, mostly because she takes lots of daredevil risks everyone else is smart enough to avoid. And she goes to such crazy extremes to save her mother (like actually traveling to the Arctic, just for starters!) that in real life would just get her killed. That's why Luke is my favorite character, and I'm totally hoping he evolves into a father figure for her as the series goes on. He's the voice of sanity that everyone ignores, and I honestly wish Eleanor, Julian and Finn had listened to him a bit more often.

I'm not completely giving up on Eleanor, though, because I have hope for the later books. If anyone can make me like her, it's Matthew J. Kirby. And if he doesn't? Well, I still really like Luke, Julian, Finn, and X.* And I'm definitely sticking around to see where on Earth Kirby will take them.

*X stands for all the people I can't name for fear of spoilers.

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