Author: Diana Peterfreund
Genre: Middle Grade, Science Fiction
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss
The first middle grade novel in an exciting new series from acclaimed author Diana Peterfreund, perfect for fans of The Goonies and The City of Ember.Review by Nara
Gillian Seagret doesn't listen to people who say her father's a crackpot. His conspiracy theories about the lost technology of Cold War–era rocket scientist Dr. Aloysius Underberg may have cost him his job and forced them to move to the middle of nowhere, but Gillian knows he's right and plans to prove it.
When she discovers a missing page from Dr. Underberg's diary in her father's mess of an office, she thinks she's found a big piece of the puzzle—a space-themed riddle promising to lead to Dr. Underberg's greatest invention. Enlisting the help of her skeptical younger brother, Eric, her best friend, Savannah, and Howard, their NASA-obsessed schoolmate, Gillian sets off on a journey into the ruins of Omega City, a vast doomsday bunker deep inside the earth,.
But they aren't alone inside its dark and flooded halls. For while Gillian wants to save her dad's reputation by bringing Dr. Underberg's secrets to light, there are others who will stop at nothing to make sure they stay buried . . . forever.
Omega City is one of those books that are kind of unrealistic- the kind of book where you just can't take everything seriously. I feel like this is fine considering it's a middle grade novel, and supposed to be exciting and "unrealistic" in the sense that it's not something that would happen to the average person. But I can't say that this didn't impair my enjoyment of the the novel a little bit, because it did, however much I tried to escape it.
Omega City is an adventure novel, and it definitely doesn't disappoint on that front. Gillian and her band of sort-of-friends discover the ruins of a hidden city (yep, named Omega City), and spend an afternoon trying to uncover its secrets while at the same time being chased by an "evil" organisation also trying to steal those secrets. You know, your typical secret technology sort of plot.
The characters were pretty fantastic- especially the way the sibling relationship of Gillian and Eric was developed. Howard, Gillian's space-loving classmate, was rather quirky, and Nate (Howard's brother) was much appreciated in that he seemed like the only completely sane one there. The only character I didn't really like was Savannah, mostly because of this one irritating thing that she did, which was to hide her intelligence just because there was a hot guy in the vicinity (seriously, why do people do this....)
I feel like I enjoyed the book overall, but there was the general feeling of it being a little too young for me. There are some middle grade books that everyone can enjoy, and there are some that are probably more suited for younger readers, and I think Omega City falls in the latter group.