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Month in review

Reviews
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual by Kate Samworth
Blue Mountain by Martine Leavitt
Bob's Hungry Ghost by Geneviève Côté
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint
The Cute Girl Network by M.K. Reed
Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King
Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife by Sam Savage
Fleabrain Loves Franny by Joanne Rocklin
The Fog Diver by Joel Ross
Framed in Lace by Monica Ferris
Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle by George Hagen
Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper
How Much Is a Million? by David M. Schwartz
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
Level Up by Gene Luen Yang
The Lost Boy by Greg Ruth
Monster High by Lisi Harrison
My Pet Book by Bob Staake
No by Claudia Rueda
Pigmalion by Glenda Leznoff
Science Fiction by Joe Ollmann
Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue
Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto
Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle 10 by CLAMP
The Twins' Blanket by Hyewon Yum
Waluk by Emilo Ruiz
Where Are You, Blue Kangaroo by Emma Chichester Clark
Wire Mothers: Harry Harlow and the Science of Love by Jim Ottaviani
You and Me by Susan Verde

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



The Fog Diver: 10/23/15

The Fog Diver by Joel Ross: Thirteen year old Chess is a tetherboy on Captain Hazel's 	salvage raft.

The Fog Diver by Joel Ross is a near future dystopian environmental disaster adventure story. Thirteen year old Chess is a tetherboy on Captain Hazel's salvage raft, a dirigible that floats above an ever present, man-made fog that protects animals but kills humans. That is except for Chess who was infected by the fog as an infant and now appears to be immune to it.

What Chess and the others want more than anything is to escape the clutches of Lord Kodoc, a ruthless man who patrols the land and skies of the slums. He wants to capture children like Chess so that he can find a way to control the fog.

The Fog Diver was a winning combination for me from the get go. First, it takes the old salvage stories of the likes of Joseph C. Lincoln, Partners of the Tide, for instance, and brings them into a near future setting. It has a natural disaster caused by technology, in this case, nanobots, which brings to mind the excellent cartoon series, Generator Rex. Finally, it's set in a mountainous and cut off area similar to where the author lives (and I once lived), Santa Barbara. Though the area isn't specifically named it was fun to mentally populate the below the fog stuff with places I used to haunt.

The time line for this book is such that some of the people involved in the original disaster are still alive but are old enough to be the grandparents and great-grandparents of Chess's generation. Chess's father, for instance, kept a scrap book of things he could find about life before the fog and those things include pop culture tidbits from now to about 1970. Chess's dad, though, must have been too young to have clear memories of life before as the stories he's passed down to Chess are mangled.

Depending on who is reading this book, those jumbled up pop culture references might go right over the head of the reader. For others though they'll be fun tidbits. I'm old enough to have gotten all of them but my son and daughter who haven't been raised exclusively on the geek culture of the 1970s and 1980s probably wouldn't. The book, is however, written for their age level and has plenty of adventure and good characterization to keep them turning the pages too.

Five stars

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