Genre: YA, Sci-fi
Brady and Felix have lived outside of a forbidden forest for as long as they can remember, but when a mysterious new neighbor moves in and fences spring up around the forest overnight, their curiosity knows no bounds. When the strange lights start appearing in the forest too, they feel it is their duty to investigate. There is no turning back–especially when they find themselves called upon to help save the life of their mysterious new neighbor. Entering the forest plunges them into a world of technology and revelations that challenge everything they thought they knew.
Brady and Felix were young for a YA book, but believable as main characters. There was enough of that sibling rivalry and angst to keep the story moving in the beginning, but you really get a good sense of the depth of a sibling relationship once the main action in the story took over. There was plenty of interest aspects as far as the sci-fi goes, but I think the relationships were really one of the strongest aspects of the book. It’s unusual and pretty refreshing to read a book where there are sibling protagonists who work together as equals throughout the story. Siblings aren’t especially uncommon in YA fiction, but it is uncommon for them to share the responsibility as main characters and work together throughout the story. I think it’s great to find books that can inspire kids to imagine adventures with their own siblings rather than always treading the path to adventure alone. It’s the sort of relationship all parents want for their kids.
I know that’s not particularly something that will appeal to kids looking to read this book, but there is plenty of action, technology, and other-worldly sci-fi stuff to sell this book to the younger set. It’s one that I’m going to recommend to my little brother Sam. He’s only 9 but a pretty advanced reader and this will be just up his alley.
For my part, I’m not sure whether I would classify this as a YA fiction or more of a middle-grade fiction, but I’m going with YA. The main characters were younger than I would expect from a YA novel, but it had the reading level and plot intricacy that indicated the next reading level to me. Makes for a perfect book for that advanced younger reader in your life. There’s still a lot of Christmas break left… just saying! It’s the most wonderful time of the year for reading 😉
Overall, I really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars.