Avatars: So This Is How It Ends

Avatars: So This Is How It Ends by Tui Sutherland.

School Library Journal sent me the second in this series to review this month, so of course I had to track down a copy of the first one.  I found it at only one of the smaller libraries in our public library system, leading me to wonder how good it could be.  Well, it is quite wonderful!

This science fiction/fantasy novel is the story of five teenagers who have always had strange powers, but suddenly awake to find themselves alone in the world.  The earth is now home to strange large birds, crystal monsters, pterodolphins, and many other frightening creatures.   A voice in each of their heads tells them to move closer together, and many of them journey across continents and oceans to converge.  It is not until then that they all hear why they are the final five humans alive and what they are expected to do.  The first novel leaves readers hanging, so be ready to find the second novel when you finish.

This book offers a rapid pace, the perspective of different unique teens, and a world turned upside down.  It will appeal to lovers of science fiction and fantasy.  The characters are all unique and complex, often struggling with their own powers and weaknesses.  The writing is taut and the pace is often thrilling with monsters attacking, the world collapsing, and the question of time hanging over the characters.  It is a unique science fiction take on the future that is a lot of fun to explore.

I only wish that the cover of the first novel reflected the darkness of the title rather than being pale blue with a large bird.  The cover will not appeal to the readers who will enjoy the book.  Don’t you hate it when that happens?! 

Recommend this to readers of Scott Westerfeld who enjoy a dystopian look at the future.

Booktrust Teenage Prize Shortlist

The British Booktrust Teenage Prize has announced their 2007 Shortlist

The Medici Seal by Theresa Breslin

Leaving Poppy by Kate Cann

The Penalty by Mal Peet

Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve

Just in Case by Meg Rosoff

My Swordhand Is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick