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Race the Night: 10/29/17

Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard

Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard is a companion piece to Watch the Sky. What order they are read in doesn't matter as the stories take place nearly simultaneously — just from different points of view and different locations.

Eider lives with the other bird named special children at the Desert Ranch. They have been raised to believe that world has ended. The oceans have dried up. The environment is ruined. They are the special children who will save the world and bring back civilization.

Eider, though, has begun to question her world and question the story she's been told. It starts with two memories — one of a sister, Robin, who isn't at the Ranch, and the other of the waves at the ocean.

To prove Eider wrong — to break her spirit — Teacher takes her to the ocean to see how dried up it is. To see the dead fish. But Teacher makes one crucial blunder, describing how far away the old cities are. It's enough of a clue to know the "sea" with the dead fish to know it's not the ocean.

A Californian or someone familiar with the state will latch onto this clue, just like Eider does. It's the impetus for her to start looking for other inconsistencies. She begins to see them everywhere — the old World Books with the missing pages (also a clue for astute readers), the stray papers outside the Ranch, where Teacher disappears to, and then the pamphlets of a suburban neighborhood.

Robin doesn't live an post apocalyptic desert dystopia. But where she lives is a big part of the mystery of this book. Even if you have read Watch the Sky it's fun to see her piece together the truth. What isn't answered – and is left to reader interpretation – is the why and how the children were taken.

Five stars

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