Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner
Best friends Tane and Rebecca get an inspiration for a science experiment and suddenly come across codes from the future. Even more shocking, the codes are from themselves and warn of a coming world disaster that will kill thousands of people. Trying to sort through all the information, the two, with the help of Tane's brother, realizes that it has something to do with the Chimera Project, a seemingly harmless study into an antigen that will cure the common cold. Suddenly they're all in a race against time to divert what could be a world ending cataclysm. But what happens when you don't know to change the future?
With a touch of Outbreak and The Andromeda Strain, this YA novel tackles the difficult subjects of pathogens AND time paradox. And you know, Falkner actually sort of makes it understandable. You don't find a lot of decent science oriented YA novels, but this one is. You really buy into the characters (even though I found Rebecca's tree hugging tendencies sometimes irrational and annoying) and the author doesn't shy away from killing off a LOT of people. He also doesn't shy away from his characters making some very bad choices when they let their emotions get in the way of what they're supposed to do, even when they have clear instructions. Of course the ending is open enough that it could be considered happy, but the sense of losing to an unstoppable force is still there. This was just an interesting and different book. A good thriller along the lines of Crichton, but with smart, realistic kids.