12 May 2015

Today's Read: The Fog Diver by Joel Ross

The Fog Diver by Joel RossWould you be able to survive in a world of mountaintops and airships? In the distant future, thirteen-year-old Chess and his fellow crew members live on an air raft high above the earth and the thick misty fog that covers all the once-inhabitable lands.

My name is Chess, and I was born inside a cage.

Imagine a wooden platform jutting from a mountain cliff. Now picture a chain falling from that platform and vanishing into the Fog, a deadly white mist that covers the entire Earth.

That's where I was born: locked in a cage, at the end of a chain, inside the Fog.
The Fog Diver by Joel Ross (HarperCollins / HarperCollins Children's Books, 2015, p. 1)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: mountaintops and airships; in the future
  • Circumstances: The woman who has provided Chess and his crew with a home has fallen sick, and the young teens don't have enough money to buy her a cure. When trying to raise the funds to save Mrs. E, the kids get on the wrong side of air pirates, junkyard gangs, and a slum lord. Will they survive to help to their friend?
  • Characters: Chess, a tetherboy, who dives off the raft into the Fog to search for salvage; Hazel, the captain of the air raft; Swedish, the pilot; Bea, their mechanic; Mrs. E, who acts as their foster mother; various air pirates, slum lords, gang members, and neighbors
  • Genre & audience: dystopian with a steampunk feel; despite some techie elements, I wouldn't call this science fiction; the book is geared to middle grade readers
  • Topics & themes: friendship, pollution, survival, family, trust, loyalty
  • What I like so far: Ross has done a great job creating four distinct characters, each with his or her own personality and skills. The futuristic earth is easy to envision, especially because the items Chess finds in the lands under the Fog are from our own era. Snappy dialogue and fast action keep us invested, as the kids run from rivals and hide from pirates. Readers of all ages will appreciate the corny humor, which also serves to ease the tension. In addition, I sense there might be a little romance brewing, but so far it's pretty tame, age-appropriate stuff.
  • Extras: I understand that this is the start of a new series. I hope so, because I really enjoy being in Chess's world. The novel has won several starred reviews.
  • Recommendations: Perfect for anyone who likes dystopian and/or steampunk stories. Chess and his friends are resourceful, smart, and independent but still retain enough vulnerability to be likeable and believable. Fun reading for the whole family.


Unknown 5/12/15, 7:46 AM  

That is a very interesting sounding book!

This week mine is actually nonfiction: http://pdworkman.com/excerpt-from-parents-who-kill-their-children/

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 5/12/15, 7:51 AM  

This one isn't for me...I'm not a dystopia fan. But, hope it works for you!

rhapsodyinbooks 5/12/15, 7:58 AM  

I didn't know about this one - how can that be?!!!!

Kay 5/12/15, 9:24 AM  

What a visual picture in just a few words! Very interesting!

Laurel-Rain Snow 5/12/15, 10:43 AM  

I don't really like most dystopian books...but then again, there has been the occasional exception.

Thanks for sharing...this one sounds exciting. And thanks for visiting my blog.

Vicki 5/12/15, 11:42 AM  

I haven't read many dystopian books, but you've caught my attention with The Fog Diver.

JLS Hall 5/12/15, 11:47 AM  

I'm not really a fan of dystopian lit, and haven't been able to get into the steampunk thing. But I love the idea of "diving into fog" to retrieve stuff. This one does sound intriguing -- thanks for sharing.

Suzie Quint 5/12/15, 11:59 AM  

Hm. I don't usually read MG books, but it sounds like something I would have enjoyed at that age.

Suzie Quint 5/12/15, 11:59 AM  

Hm. I don't usually read MG books, but it sounds like something I would have enjoyed at that age.

Anonymous,  5/12/15, 12:15 PM  

I rarely read MG books, but I love that visual of locked in a cage and diving down into the fog! I will suggest this to my tween-aged granddaughter though. Thanks for pointing it out.

gautami tripathy 5/12/15, 12:27 PM  

Great teaser! Happy Reading!

Here is my Teaser post

Sandra Nachlinger 5/12/15, 12:57 PM  

Although this isn't something I'd normally pick up at the bookstore, this sounds like a story I'd enjoy. The opening definitely sets the stage. I'm curious about the world created by this author and want to know more.
Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

Anonymous,  5/12/15, 1:03 PM  

A very interesting sounding book, even though not quite my cup of tea. Hope you enjoy it!

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 5/12/15, 1:17 PM  

There are some young readers I may recommend this to. Thanks for sharing it and for visiting my blog.

Unknown 5/12/15, 2:13 PM  

You had me at "I was born inside a cage," that's reason enough to have me pick up this story! I'm curious to know what transpired thereafter; great post!

Claudia @ My Soul Called Life

Anonymous,  5/12/15, 3:31 PM  

A very intriguing teaser.

Cleopatra Loves Books 5/12/15, 3:40 PM  

This sounds a little on the bleak side for me although I do like the opener. thanks for visiting my Tuesday post https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/first-chapter-first-paragraph-may-12/

The Candid Cover 5/12/15, 4:40 PM  

Wow! This book sounds incredible! Great teaser. Thanks for visiting my blog:)

Linda 5/12/15, 4:48 PM  

Sounds like one I might like. Enjoy!

Karen and Gerard 5/12/15, 7:05 PM  

Good teaser, sounds like an interesting read.

Unknown 5/12/15, 7:08 PM  

I just spotted this somewhere else earlier. I think it sounds unusual and that has me curious. Good choice.
Thanks for stopping by my post.

Trish 5/12/15, 9:12 PM  

I like how you share quick facts about the book! Haven't seen it shares like that before and I like it!

trish - my teaser

Margot 5/12/15, 11:11 PM  

I'm normally not a reader of this type of story, but the intro interested me. I'm going to check this out with my granddaughter.

Rin 5/14/15, 4:27 AM  

This sounds very interesting. Though I shy away from dystopian books because they're very overrated nowadays, I might check this one out!

Daryl 5/14/15, 10:37 AM  

sounds like a good enjoyable escape ... i am adding it to my list, thanks!

Unknown 5/23/15, 2:10 PM  

Love of the cover! And that line:

"That's where I was born: locked in a cage, at the end of a chain, inside the Fog."

Well that's quite the attention grabber! ;)

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