My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Middle Grade fans-read this book! A deadly Fog covers the earth, forcing humans to live on mountain tops, and on slums kept afloat by balloons, blimpy stuff, and fans. The Fog’s origin is clever.
The story is told in first person by Chess, a “tether boy”, meaning he dives into the Fog on a tether to salvage materials on earth to sell above the Fog. He can tolerate the Fog longer than others for special reasons. Animals are not affected by the Fog, neither are plants and trees. It only affects humans, in a very dangerous fashion.
The characters are loveable with distinct personalities. There is humor through the whole book! There’s real danger and a nasty villain in the midst of the light hearted conversations. I’d say it’s good for ages 10+.
This definitely had a steampunk feel. We are hundreds of years in the future, but the Fog has caused so much damage, that life is very rustic and rudimentary for many living on the outside of the prosperous areas. The higher up a mountain you are, the more status and prestige you have. The lower you are, hovering closer to the Fog, the worse off you are. Let’s just say that when rats are discussed, it’s more as a dinner option than pest.
Five stars! Will definitely read the next book in the series. I hope it will be as clever, witty, and skillfully crafted as this was.