Review: Eye of the Storm

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Eye of the StormEye of the Storm by Kate Messner
Published by Walker BFYR on March 13, 2012
Genres: Adventure, Mystery, Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

In the not-too-distant future, huge tornadoes and monster storms are a part of everyday life. Sent to spend the summer in the heart of storm country with her father in the special StormSafe community his company has developed, Jaden Meggs is excited to reconnect with her dad after he spent years researching storm technology in Russia. She’ll also be attending the exclusive summer science camp, Eye On Tomorrow, that her dad founded. There, Jaden meets Alex, a boy whose passion for science matches hers, and together they discover a horrible truth about her dad’s research that is putting countless lives at risk. As a massive tornado approaches, threatening to destroy everything in its path, Jaden is torn between loyalty to her dad and revealing his secret. Can she find the courage to confront her dad and save everyone from the biggest storm yet?

Middle grade dystopias are generally much lighter fare, not just in reading level. They tend to be less violent, less terrifying. Eye of the Storm definitely fits this mold, but is no less interesting for that. Don’t think it’s too sweet and fluffy; there are definitely a couple of intense scenes.

Jaden’s father is the worst. I mean, seriously. He doesn’t seem to make an effort with his family (either Jaden or his new wife and baby) at all. Whenever he has a bad day at work, which seems to be a lot, he blusters at them. He spends most of his time in his locked office, rather than with his family. It had been years since he spent any real time with Jaden, because he was researching in Russia, and yet now that she’s there he only holds brief conversations with her. That’s it. Plus, he doesn’t do anything to make his wife happy; she loves dancing, and even though there are small amateur groups they could see live locally, he won’t take her. What a completely awful man.

I loved that the central idea for the dystopia was one that I had not encountered before. The weather has gone bonkers in many, but this one focused specifically on tornadoes, although acknowledging that in other parts of the world cyclones and typhoons were just as much of a problem. After the huge storms in Japan this past year and Katrina’s crazy damage to New Orleans, it’s terrifying to consider what it would be like if storms like these only got more powerful and now went everywhere. Of course, it’s also impossible for me to read this without constantly replaying the movie Twister in my head, haha.

Also cool is that Messner added some other scientific developments into the dystopian elements of the story. For example, along with building communities that are safe from tornadoes, Jaden’s dad’s company StormSafe also develops genetically engineered food. While this is in no way the focus, I think these little tidbits of other developments really set the atmosphere for where the world was headed.

Eye of the Storm is a good, swift dystopian read for younger (or older) readers. Especially recommended to those who enjoy stories about really clever kids, such as The Mysterious Benedict Society.

2 responses to “Review: Eye of the Storm”

  1. Steena says:

    I actually prefer “stories about clever and reasonably attractive orphans.”

    Also, “Night of the Twisters”, a fantastic made for TV movie from the mid-90’s, has to be my absolute favorite the-weather-is-going-to-kill-us movie. The twisters SPIN THE WRONG WAY. We have no way of predicting their movement! A man is crushed by a car and yet lives! A great snark movie.

  2. Can’t wait to read this one! Thanks for participating in Dystopian Feb!

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