Firestorm (Caretaker Trilogy #1)

Firestorm (Caretaker Trilogy #1)

4.7 21
by David Klass
     
 

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His mother is not his mother. His father is not his father. But if Jack hadn't broken the high school rushing record that night, he never would have known and nothing would have changed. He'd just be going out for pizza, playing football, trying yet again to score with his girlfriend, P.J. But he did break the record. He appeared on the news. And now they've found

Overview

His mother is not his mother. His father is not his father. But if Jack hadn't broken the high school rushing record that night, he never would have known and nothing would have changed. He'd just be going out for pizza, playing football, trying yet again to score with his girlfriend, P.J. But he did break the record. He appeared on the news. And now they've found him.

Jack plunges into a space-time–bending game of survival with no way out. The rules are shrouded in secrets. But one thing he learns fast: Trust no one. After centuries of abuse, the earth is dying, and it's up to Jack to reverse the decline before the Turning Point, when nothing will ever be the same again.

Beaten into shape by a ninja babe and a huge telepathic man's best friend, Jack hurtles across the ocean to save the future from the present and to solve the mystery of his purpose. Exactly who, or what, is Firestorm, and what does it have to do with Jack? And what comes next when everything you have ever known turns out to be wrong?

In the first book of the Caretaker Trilogy, readers are taken on an electrifying, fast-paced adventure of hunting truth, all in the name of staying alive.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Firestorm is a gripping tale of the relentless and unnecessary harm we humans have done to our earth, and a reminder that there is still hope for our planet if each person stands up and acts in its defense before it is too late. This is a book every environmentally conscious school science program should make required reading.” —Gerd Leipold, Executive Director, Greenpeace International

“Klass has scored a hat trick with Firestorm--incredibly original, vitally important, and one hell of a ride.” —David Baldacci, author of The Camel Club

“Klass enters exciting and provocative new territory with this sci-fi thriller. The cliff-hanger ending will make readers hope that Klass's work on book two of the trilogy is well under way.” —School Library Journal, Starred Review

“Gripping. A total thrill ride, one with a profound message.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Tremendous fun to read, and in its own Al Gore Meets Grand Theft Auto way, delivers a heartfelt and intelligent ecological warning.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Downright chilling . . . packed with high-intensity thrills. Jack's surprising fate will leave readers waiting eagerly for the second installment in the Caretaker Trilogy.” —Booklist

Firestorm is a potent mixture of high-octane YA novel and sensitive, intelligent study of the current environmental crises facing the planet.” —Kirkus Reviews Big Book Preview

“Readers will relish hurtling through the adventure alongside Jack.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Publishers Weekly
This gripping first novel in the Caretaker Trilogy introduces high school senior Jack Danielson: "You want pace? I'll give you pace. You want weird? Stick around, my friend." Klass (Dark Angel), through his hyperintelligent, otherworldly narrator, delivers both. A star running back on the football team, Jack barely has time to savor a victory before his father whisks him away, warning him that everything the teen believes is a lie. Jack's high profile on the evening sportscast has brought him to the attention of sinister forces. His father, who calls Jack "our beacon of hope," sends off his son in a flurry of laser blasts and mysterious warnings, to a boat to cross the Hudson. In New York City, a beautiful girl (really a shapeshifting wolf) captures him, calling him "the Prince himself" and asking him where to find "Firestorm." Gisco, a telekinetic dog, ends up Jack's only friend on his sudden, surreal journey. A visionary from the far future has sent Jack back in time to stem the tides brought by global warming, but trailing him is the Dark Army, which thrives in the deteriorated Earth of the future. Klass's fragmented first-person narrative both suggests Jack's extraordinarily quick thinking and also keeps the pace going at lightning speed. The plot bears a strong similarity to the Terminator films, but its muscular tone and drip-by-drip reveal of secrets make it a total thrill ride, and one with a profound message. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA - Matthew Weaver
So many sentence fragments. Dilutes the power of the storytelling. Gets annoying after a while. Seriously when the central character calls attention to this particular trait right in the first paragraph, it is a little difficult to ignore. And a lot of things are supposed to happen to Jack Danielson if this book is first in a trilogy, so it is a bad sign if sentence structure is the first thing he chooses to talk about. Rather he might want to address the fact that the people he thought were his parents are not-and that they are dead now, their lives sacrificed to save his life-and how he went from being a typical libidinous teenager to last hope for a long line of planetary caregivers. These things probably should take priority over defending use of sentence fragments. Jack has to race to find out the answers of who he is, with training by the sultry Eco and psychic shaggy dog Gisco, in a convoluted plot that jumps from SF thriller to deep-sea adventure, but never does the book actually reach out and grip its reader. Jack is on the run, and he must battle a nefarious cousin and track down a mysterious orb weapon called Firestorm, but it is difficult to actually care. Those with nothing better to do might finish this book, but chances are slim that they are going to eagerly anticipate the next two.
KLIATT
Who is Jack? The 18-year-old abruptly learns he isn't who he always thought he was: his whole life so far has been a masquerade, designed to keep him hidden so that he can accomplish a heroic, world-saving act. When he breaks the football rushing record at his school, Jack makes the news and attracts the attention of powerful, mysterious enemies he never knew he had, the Dark Army. He's forced to go on the run, aided by a telepathic dog and a female warrior who teaches him how to defend himself. His mission is to find a weapon called Firestorm that will prevent the ecological devastation that has turned the world of the future into a barren desert. But will the brutal Dark Army succeed in stopping him? This tense SF/fantasy tale features nonstop action as Jack runs off to the coast of North Carolina, ends up in a small boat in a hurricane, is rescued by a fishing trawler that destroys ocean reefs, and bravely battles his superhuman enemies. Will he be able to save himself and his new friends, not to mention the world? The ecological message is laid on thickly, but Jack's thrilling adventures and the creepy villainy of the bad guys will keep readers turning the pages. Some talk of sex, but nothing explicit. (The Caretaker Trilogy, book 1.). KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2006, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 290p., $17.00.. Ages 12 to 18.
—Paula Rohrlick
Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
On the night that he broke the all-time rushing record at his high school, seventeen-year-old Jack Danielson sees his life torn to shreds. After receiving publicity for his football prowess, Jack is informed by his father that his parents are not his biological parents and that his life is a sham. Jack is the possessor of great powers that are vital for the salvation of the planet Earth. Ravaged by human exploitation, pollution, and misuse, Earth stands on the verge of destruction. Nevertheless, Jack's calling to save the Earth is bitterly opposed by dark forces bent upon his destruction. Without his parents to support him, Jack enters into a world where he can trust no one. Further, Jack really has very little idea what powers he has and how they are to be used. How can this young man live up to his task and help set the stage for the salvation of life on Earth? This is the basic plot line to David Klass' Firestorm, the first volume of the "Caretaker Trilogy." Sadly, as a first dish in a three-course literary meal, Firestorm leaves a bad taste in its reader's mouth. Throughout this rambling novel, Klass uses choppy, micro-sentences that really do not demonstrate any literary gifts. Characters are generally unbelievable and react in ways that seem to run counter to common sense. In several places sexually inappropriate references are made that beggar any purpose save titillation. By the end of the book, readers may well be ready to forget any further installments in a series that has some interesting concepts but very little solid craftsmanship or writing prowess to hang a hat on.
KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, September 2006: Who is Jack? The 18-year-old abruptly learns he isn't who he always thought he was: his whole life so far has been a masquerade, designed to keep him hidden so that he can accomplish a heroic, world-saving act. When he breaks the football rushing record at his school, Jack makes the news and attracts the attention of powerful, mysterious enemies he never knew he had, the Dark Army. He's forced to go on the run, aided by a telepathic dog and a female warrior who teaches him how to defend himself. His mission is to find a weapon called Firestorm that will prevent the ecological devastation that has turned the world of the future into a barren desert. But will the brutal Dark Army succeed in stopping him? This tense SF/fantasy tale features nonstop action as Jack runs off to the coast of North Carolina, ends up in a small boat in a hurricane, is rescued by a fishing trawler that destroys ocean reefs, and bravely battles his superhuman enemies. Will he be able to save himself and his new friends, not to mention the world? The ecological message is laid on thickly, but Jack's thrilling adventures and the creepy villainy of the bad guys will keep readers turning the pages. Some talk of sex, but nothing explicit. (An ALA Best Book for YAs.) Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Klass enters exciting and provocative new territory with this sci-fi thriller. Seventeen-year-old Jack Danielson's life has always been normal-except that his parents have encouraged him to blend in and not try too hard. But then he learns that he is different, that he has special powers and abilities, and that he is from the future and has been sent back to save the planet. Strangers kill his adoptive parents and come after him, and the teen's only hope to survive is to trust in Gisco, a huge dog who speaks to him telepathically, and Eko, a ninja babe whose loyalties are ambiguous. The writing is fluid and graceful in places. The sobering events and tone are leavened with engaging humor, and the characters are multidimensional. The relentless pace, coupled with issues of ecology, time travel, self-identity, and sexual awakening, makes for a thrilling and memorable read. The cliff-hanger ending will make readers hope that Klass's work on book two of the trilogy is well under way.-Melissa Moore, Union University Library, Jackson, TN Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312380182
Publisher:
Square Fish
Publication date:
04/01/2008
Series:
Caretaker Trilogy Series , #1
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
517,414
Product dimensions:
6.39(w) x 8.19(h) x 0.88(d)
Lexile:
510L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Firestorm

1

Halloween week in Hadley-by-Hudson. Senior year of high school. Nine in the evening. Had enough sentence fragments? My English teacher said they are a weakness of mine. But I still like them. They generate pace. You want pace? I'll give you pace. You want weird? Stick around, my friend.

The air pinching colder. Winter coming on fast, winding up to clobber us. A month from now it will be bitter, bitter, and you can feel the coming chill in the north wind. You can smell it in the rust and smoke of the colored leaves. Stock up on the Kleenex. Nostril-clogging chill. Wind the scarves tight. Get out last winter's mittens. Halloween decorations going up on doors and windows. Black cats crouching. Witches soaring on broomsticks. This is gonna get weird fast, but not the way you think.

Here's what I thought. I thought I was living in the most normal little town in America, having the most normal senior year a guy could have. First name? Jack. How's that for normal? Last name? Danielson. Pretty standard stuff, huh? Occupation? High school senior. Hobbies? Chicks, flicks, and fast cars, roughly in that order.

Oh, and I left out sports. Very important. When you're a guy in a town like Hadley with a tough public high school, it helps to be a jock. So I'm lucky that way. Six feet two. Muscles. Starting running back on the football team. Straw-colored hair, piercing blue eyes, and above-average brain power, except when I do something really stupid. Did I mention a winning smile?

Winning smile is often directed at one P. J. Peters. The "P" could have been for "pretty" as they come. Or "pert." Or "perspicacious." Look that one up in the dictionary, my friend. Sometimes "pretentious." Always "pleasing." The "J" could have been for "jousting," because we're always testing each other. Or "joker." No one could make me laugh like P.J. Or "jubilant" when she accomplished something really important.

So we're at the Hadley Diner on a night we've both accomplished something important. P.J. has won a local art contest for a pen-and-ink drawing of her great-grandmother, who is ninety-four. There were adult artists in the competition, so for a high schooler to win is pretty hot stuff.

I just rushed for three hundred and forty yards. New school record. New league record. Not a bad day's work. We defeated our archrival school. Guys are giving me high fives. Slapping me on the back. "Way to go, Jack. You the man. You the one."

Neon signs flashing out front. DINER. IF YOU'RE HUNGRY, WE'RE OPEN. Red leather seats. P.J. nestled close, reminding me not to get a swelled head. "You're still a bozo," she says.

"Mr. Bozo to you," I tell her back. "Let's have a little respect, Miss da Vinci."

A man walks by our table. Tall. Gangly. Adam's apple sticking out of throat like it wants to be plucked. He's just eaten. Heading for the door. Passes all the high school kids. Doesn't glance at us. That's curious 'cause we're making mucho noise. Maybe he doesn't like kids.

Then he turns his head and looks. Right at me. For a half second. Not at anyone else. Just me. Like he knows me. And I see his eyeballs roll around in his head. Now they look like normal eyes. Now the pupils disappear. Something flashes. Like a flashbulb. Or a computer scanner. A sudden burst of white light that turns silvery. Then the light is gone and I blink and he's gone, too.

"Did you see that?" I ask P.J.

"What?"

"That guy's eyes? They just flashed."

"What guy?"

"He was here a second ago. His eyes got weird."

"I think you'd better lay off mind-bending drugs."

Then we're out in my car, parked at the lookout. Hudson River flowing by. Big autumn moon hanging in the sky like a swollen sex gland. I'm thinking this is the night. But P.J. has other ideas. "Come on," I plead. "There'll never be a better time."

"No."

"Why not?"

"I'm not ready."

"P.J., you're ready. And you're killing me."

"You look pretty healthy."

"Yeah, I scored four touchdowns today."

"So?"

"It's fate. This is my day to score."

Wrong thing to say. Mood starting to fracture big-time. "So you're comparing my virginity to a football field?"

"No, P.J., I was just joking—"

"But you view our intimacy through a sports analogy? First base, second base, you want me to spread my legs like football goalposts? Is that it?"

"P.J., it's a beautiful night. We're seniors. I love you. The guys on the team give me all kinds of grief—"

"That we don't go all the way? You talk to them about us?"

Again, wrong thing to say. "No. Yes. Never. But—"

End of story. "Put it away. Back in your pants."

"But, P.J., there'll never be a better time."

"Put that sucker away and let's go home. There'll be lots of better times. I promise. Soon."

"Have you ever heard of blue balls? It's a medical condition. Can be terminal."

She gives me a sweet kiss on the side of the cheek. "You are such a pathetic dumb puppy."

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"There. I knew you could zip it up. Let's go."

"You'll never know what I suffer."

I take her home. We kiss. Gets intense. A curtain moves. P.J.'s dad peers out. I wave. P.J. waves to him and gets out of my car. I sit there and watch her walk to her house and disappear inside as the big front door shuts.

She's so beautiful. So smart. So much fun. She'll pick her moment. Girls know about these things. They operate on instinct. Just be patient, Jack.

I drive home with my blue balls.

Dad is waiting there. And Mom. He doesn't look happy. "So I heard about the game. Congratulations."

"Thanks, Dad. It was great."

"Maybe too great," he says.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Dad paces. Mom stands still. Both look worried.

"What's that supposed to mean?" I try again. "Am I missing something here?"

"I've told you that it's not good to stand out too much," Dad says. "You show people up. Make enemies. People get jealous."

"Who's getting jealous?" I ask. "This was one of the best nights of my life. Everyone at the diner was slapping me on the back. Nobody was jealous. Everybody was happy for me. Except you." My voice getting louder. "What kind of fatherly advice are you handing out here? Fail intentionally? Don't try my best?"

Dad looks pained. Mom chimes in. "It's just better to fit in sometimes," she says. "Your father loves you, Jack. He wants what's best for you."

"And that's why he tells me not to do my best on math tests? Not to do my best on science projects? Not to set records in track? Not to score too many points in football games? It sounds like he wants what's mediocre for me."

"The thing is, it was on TV," Dad says.

"Yeah. I saw it at the diner. Local sports news. Why exactly is that a problem?"

"Exposure," Dad says. "Attracts bad elements. Did you see anything tonight?"

"What kind of anything are we talking about?"

"Anything strange," he says. "Nutty high school sports fans. Sex-crazed groupies. Whatever." He's trying to make a joke out of it. "Now that you're a big shot, you'd better keep an eye out."

"No, I didn't see anything strange," I tell him. Until I got home, that is. And my parents gave my big night the body slam. For no good reason. But I don't say this. I just think it. Then I remember. "Yeah, there was something weird."

They both look kind of interested. "I was at the diner with P.J., and this guy looked at me, and I swear for a second his eyes disappeared and something flashed. But nobody else saw it, so I must have been dreaming—"

Dad grips me by the shoulders. "Did he say anything?"

"Who?"

"The man?"

"No."

"But he looked right at you?"

"Yes? What's the big deal—"

"How tall was he?"

"Very tall. Maybe an inch taller than you."

"When you saw the flash, did it change color?"

"Kind of," I say. "White to silvery. Do you know this man? Dad, what's going on?" He's holding me tightly, freaking me out.

"We're gonna go for a drive," he tells my mom.

"Now?" I ask. "It's after eleven. Where are we going? The police? I don't get it."

"Go," Mom says. Which is weird, too. Then she hugs me. And my mom is not a touchy-feely kind of mom. "Goodbye,Jack," she whispers. For a second I think there's a tear sliding down her cheek.

"Will somebody tell me what the hell's going on?" I request.

"In the car," Dad says. And he throws on a jacket and marches out into the cold darkness, so I follow him. After all, he is my dad.

 

 

Copyright © 2006 by David Klass

Meet the Author

David Klass is the author of many young adult novels, including Dark Angel and You Don't Know Me. He is also a Hollywood screenwriter, having written more than twenty-five action screenplays, including Kiss the Girls, starring Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd, Walking Tall, starring The Rock, and Desperate Measures, starring Michael Keaton and Andy Garcia. Klass grew up in a family that loved literature and theater—his parents were both college professors and writers—but he was a reluctant reader, preferring sports to books. But he started loving the adventure stories his parents would bring home from the library—particularly Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson and Alexandre Dumas. After his sister twice won a story contest in Seventeen magazine, Klass decided he would win it too, and when he was a senior in high school, he did, publishing his first story, "Ringtoss," in the magazine. He studied at Yale University, where he won the Veech Award for Best Imaginative Writing. He taught English in Japan, and wrote his first novel, The Atami Dragons, about that experience. He now lives in New York with his wife and two small children.

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Firestorm (Caretaker Trilogy #1) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm 11 and I think this book is great. I like to read about kids who are older than me better than books about kids who are slightly younger or the age as me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im 15 and dont like reading so much but my teacher red the back of the book so i started reading three weeks ago ime on chapter 30
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So exciting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books ive ever read
jaylen96 More than 1 year ago
I heard so much about this book that I finally decided to read it. It's a great book, it has everything that a teenager would want to read, full of action and adventure. it starts off a little slow but picks up quick, fast, and in a hurry! it really catches all of your attention and makes you want to keep turning the page. GREAT BOOK!
Tiger_Angel More than 1 year ago
This is not my normal reading genre, I'm more into the paranormal romance, or romance in general, so my reading this was a stretch, my liking it at all is amazing. So all I've got to say is that I loved the plot, very interesting, it was kind of hard for me to get into however. Not a page turner by any means but I still liked the way it was written. The ending kind of disappointed me, and I probably won't be reading the other two unless I run out of books on my "to read" list. All and all, if this is your type of genre, you'll probably love it, as for me I think I'll be going back to my own areas of interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is soo good i thought that i even wanted my mother to read it. i would reccomend this book to anybody who loves a good none stop thriller.
John-Mrs.Hill More than 1 year ago
It is a very good book that has action around every corner. it is very easy to understand. You just have to have a open mind to get it.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
It's always interesting to read the blurbs on the front of a book. You know the ones I mean; the recommendations from fellow authors about why you should pick up a copy of the book in question. What's even more interesting is when the blurb comes from someone other than an author. In the case of FIRESTORM, the first in The Caretaker Trilogy by author David Klass, the recommendation comes from Greenpeace. Yes, the same Greenpeace International that is dedicated to protecting and saving the Earth from the harmful practices that threaten to destroy it. If that isn't enough to get your attention, then maybe you should turn your ear towards Jack Danielson, the hero of FIRESTORM:

"Name's Jack Danielson. Eighteen. As of right now, not quite sure I'll live to see nineteen. Always been a pretty good guy, easy-going, laid back, friend to all and enemy to none. Smart, but not too smart. Athletically inclined, but never enough to be the best. Now my whole world is falling apart. Seems my father isn't my father. My mother isn't my mother. The fact that my dad who isn't my dad shot off his own foot to prove his point should be strange enough. It isn't. There are weird bat-like creatures chasing me, and things called Gorms. I've somehow ended up on a motorcycle with a humongous mongrel dog named Gisco, who happens to be telepathic, riding in a sidecar. Now there's a woman named Eko kicking my a** on a daily basis to make me stronger. Why? Because I have to find Firestorm so that I can save the Earth. And no, I have no idea what that is. And yes, I'm a fan of sentence fragments. Look it up, my friend, but not right now. Right now I have to save the world, before there's no future on Earth for me to come back from."

FIRESTORM is Jack's story, but it's also the story of what could very well happen. It's a fantasy that could be truth, if the destruction of Earth by mankind continues on its current course. After reading this wonderful book, I clearly understand why it's endorsed by Greenpeace. One of the best things of the book, besides its underlying message of taking care of the planet, is Gisco, the telepathic dog. He adds an element of humor, such as his devotion to the O Great Dog God, that lightens up a story that could come across as preachy, but never does. It's very hard to categorize FIRESTORM into one category, but if I had to I would call it a coming-of-age, contemporary fantasy, science-fiction, paranormal adventure story.

If that doesn't catch your attention, I don't know what will. Let me just say that once you start reading, you won't be able to stop. And when you're finished, you'll want to read more. FIRESTORM is, luckily, the first book in The Caretaker Trilogy, so maybe if we hound Mr. Klass night and day he'll give us what we want--and sooner rather than later.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that book was amazing. I can't wait to read the next book. What I was shocked about was that Eko dies and I thought Jack and Eko make a nice couple. I think she shouldn't have died. Well that was my opinion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to say that first part of the book is kind of boring. Until the characters are introduce and after that one will have no choice but love them. David is great in keeping the reader reading more and more. Also opens the eyes to the reader on how important it is to keep the animals and trees saved from being destroyed. This book is great and I'm heading over to buy the 2nd book today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
firestorm is an a very good book about a boy who been sent to the past to save the ocean from the harm we do as humans
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. I literally read it within one day and am presently waiting for the next in the series to come out. Outstanding. The short phrases get tiring after awhile and it sort of detracts from the book, but it's still a great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about a boy who finds himself in a world of lies. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat by telling you scary thoughts about how the future might look. It's not just informative either, it is packed with action and just the right amount of mystery.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Firestorm is a terrific, fast-paced, suspenseful, intelligent and humorous book! I highly recommend it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
It's always interesting to read the blurbs on the front of a book. You know the ones I mean the recommendations from fellow authors about why you should pick up a copy of the book in question. What's even more interesting is when the blurb comes from someone other than an author. In the case of FIRESTORM, the first in The Caretaker Trilogy by author David Klass, the recommendation comes from Greenpeace. Yes, the same Greenpeace International that is dedicated to protecting and saving the Earth from the harmful practices that threaten to destroy it. If that isn't enough to get your attention, then maybe you should turn your ear towards Jack Danielson, the hero of FIRESTORM: 'Name's Jack Danielson. Eighteen. As of right now, not quite sure I'll live to see nineteen. Always been a pretty good guy, easy-going, laid back, friend to all and enemy to none. Smart, but not too smart. Athletically inclined, but never enough to be the best. Now my whole world is falling apart. Seems my father isn't my father. My mother isn't my mother. The fact that my dad who isn't my dad shot off his own foot to prove his point should be strange enough. It isn't. There are weird bat-like creatures chasing me, and things called Gorms. I've somehow ended up on a motorcycle with a humongous mongrel dog named Gisco, who happens to be telepathic, riding in a sidecar. Now there's a woman named Eko kicking my ass on a daily basis to make me stronger. Why? Because I have to find Firestorm so that I can save the Earth. And no, I have no idea what that is. And yes, I'm a fan of sentence fragments. Look it up, my friend, but not right now. Right now I have to save the world, before there's no future on Earth for me to come back from.' FIRESTORM is Jack's story, but it's also the story of what could very well happen. It's a fantasy that could be truth, if the destruction of Earth by mankind continues on its current course. After reading this wonderful book, I clearly understand why it's endorsed by Greenpeace. One of the best things of the book, besides its underlying message of taking care of the planet, is Gisco, the telepathic dog. He adds an element of humor, such as his devotion to the O Great Dog God, that lightens up a story that could come across as preachy, but never does. It's very hard to categorize FIRESTORM into one category, but if I had to I would call it a coming-of-age, contemporary fantasy, science-fiction, paranormal adventure story. If that doesn't catch your attention, I don't know what will. Let me just say that once you start reading, you won't be able to stop. And when you're finished, you'll want to read more. FIRESTORM is, luckily, the first book in The Caretaker Trilogy, so maybe if we hound Mr. Klass night and day he'll give us what we want--and sooner rather than later.