Mirage (Above World Series #2)

Mirage (Above World Series #2)

5.0 5
by Jenn Reese

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A thrilling sequel from an exciting new voice in middle-grade sci-fi tracks two ocean-born children braving the dangers of the Above World. The desert is no place for ocean-dwelling Kampii like Aluna and Hoku, especially now that Aluna has secretly started growing her tail. But the maniacal Karl Strand is out to conquer the Above World, and the horselike Equians are


A thrilling sequel from an exciting new voice in middle-grade sci-fi tracks two ocean-born children braving the dangers of the Above World. The desert is no place for ocean-dwelling Kampii like Aluna and Hoku, especially now that Aluna has secretly started growing her tail. But the maniacal Karl Strand is out to conquer the Above World, and the horselike Equians are next on his list. Aluna, Hoku, and their friends — winged Calli and Equian exile Dash — race to the desert city of Mirage, intent on warning the Equians. When they arrive, Strand’s clone, Scorch, has gotten there first. Now the Equian leader has vowed to take all his people to war as part of Strand’s army. Any herd that refuses to join him by the time of the desert-wide competition known as the Thunder Trials will be destroyed. To have any chance of defeating Scorch and convincing the Equians to switch sides, the four friends must find a way to win the Trials. The challenge seems impossible. But if they fail, the desert — and possibly all of the Above World — will be lost to Karl Strand forever. Here is the action-packed follow-up to Above World, which Kirkus Reviews called "a thrilling sci-fi adventure. Imaginative and riveting."

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—In this sequel to Above World (Candlewick, 2012), power-hungry Karl Strand will stop at nothing in his quest for domination over all peoples, humans genetically modified long ago to survive in different environments: the underwater Kampii, the Aviars of the skies, and the horselike Equians, and the half-human/half-snake Serpenti of the deserts. Aluna, a Kampii, and her friends must race against time to convince the Equians and Serpenti to let go of their long-standing conflict and stand together against Strand and his malicious clone, Scorch. Mirage features compelling characters, plenty of action, and a thoroughly imagined world in which mermaids, centaurs, and others must work together to survive despite their differences. Those unfamiliar with the first book may find it difficult to cobble together a complete understanding of the Above World and its villain, but the dynamic plotline will keep readers engaged.—Sara Saxton, Tuzzy Consortium Library, Barrow, AK
Children's Literature - Greta Holt
Equians, one of the new genetically engineered, part-human races, live in the desert city of Mirage in Above World. Aluna, hero of the first novel in the "Above World" series, leads her friends—fellow Kampii (sea residing) Hoku, the bird-like Calli, and the expelled Equian Dahl—in an expedition to urge the Equians to beware of the evil Karl Strand. Unfortunately, Strand's horrid clone Scorch, a female in this modern dystopian tale, is already there. She has turned the Equian leader's mind, and he will join Strand's forces in war. A coming desert competition will decide the other Equian tribes' fates. Aluna and her friends must conquer each competitor as a means to defeat Scorch and win the Equians to the side of good. Although the fight scenes and the physical demands are many, Reese centers her narrative on the relationships between potential lovers and among the tribes. An excellent addition to the plot is the Serpenti, a tribe that in former times, tried to destroy the Equians. Nathif of the Serpenti becomes an ally, and children reading the book can learn from the lessons learned by his self-defeating nation. Aluna must power through not only the challenges of the desert and physical competition, but the fact that she is now growing her mermaid tail. Dahl may love her, but she will have to return to the sea. Hoku loves Calli, but he is engineered for sea life and she is engineered as a bird. The plot contains a smelly, angry Upgrader, a mistake of a full horse who is really Equian, and other strange creatures. This novel is a dystopian tale with many characters and much fighting, yet real concern for its characters. Book two of the "Above World" series. Reviewer: Greta Holt
VOYA - Cheryl Clark
Aluna and her friends race across the desert to warn the half-horse, half-human Equians of Karl Strand's plot to conquer the world. They are too late; the great Equian khan has already allied his people with Strand's clone, Scorch. Then, Dash is taken into custody for breaking his exile, and Scorch demands the lives of Aluna and her friends. They are granted a short reprieve when an emissary from the Shining Moon clan claims them as rightfully belonging to her people. Finding themselves in slightly friendlier territory, they realize the only way to defeat Scorch is to usurp the great khan's leadership at the Thunder Trials, a competition of skill and strength held every year by the Equians. But they will have to find a way to make allies out of old enemies if they are to succeed. Readers who have reconciled themselves to the weird premise of Above World—humans have mixed their genes with those of animals in order to survive otherwise uninhabitable regions—will be rewarded with this sequel. There is plenty of adventure and a well-developed setting that brings the desert to life. The most important quality of the novel, however, is its themes, which are almost characters in themselves. The ideas of honor, loyalty, and friendship are obvious without being preachy. The book is hampered by flat writing and underwhelming characters, however. Hand this book to patrons who appreciate their adventure in fantastic worlds and are not picky about dull writing. Reviewer: Cheryl Clark
Kirkus Reviews
In this sequel to Above World (2012), best friends Aluna and Hoku pursue their quest to prevent power-mad Karl Strand from controlling a futuristic world in which genetically modified races live in the oceans, skies and deserts. Ocean-dwelling Kampii, Aluna and Hoku travel across the desert to Mirage with winged Calli and Dash, an exiled Equian, to warn Equian High Khan Onggur about Strand. They arrive too late. Onggur has allied with Strand, whose cunning clone daughter, Scorch, is now eager to eliminate Aluna, Hoku, Dash and Calli. Dash is condemned to death for breaching his exile, while Aluna, Calli and Hoku will be delivered to Scorch after the Thunder Trials unless they find a way to save Dash and thwart the alliance. Preparing to compete in the Trials, Aluna secretly worries about her legs, which are fusing into a Kampii tail, threatening her ability to fight on land. Ever resourceful, the companions use their differences to their advantage, allying with the half-snake Serpenti to form their own unique tribe. A strong, seemingly indestructible warrior, Aluna discovers she must rely on her friends to survive as the battle to save Above World continues. A powerful sequel with sustained themes of friendship and honor. (Science fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Above World Series , #2
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
720L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

Meet the Author

Jenn Reese writes science fiction and fantasy and has published short stories and two books for adults. She loves martial arts and has trained in kenpo, kung fu, tai chi, and weaponry. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Mirage 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are a lot of wonderful books out there, but very few that are meant for all ages that can satisfy them all. In Above World, Jenn Reese created a world where people had been modified to live underwater, in the skies with wings, or in the high desert as half-human/half-horse. Now, she has added half-human/half-snake. But it's not the concept of physically changing people so they can live wherever they need to that's so fascinating, it's their individual cultures and their peoples. Here, her heroine, the originally underwater dwelling Aluna, along with her best friend Hoku, continue to fight Karl Strand who seeks to enslave everyone by "upgrading" them -- adding technology onto their very bodies. Aluna is a great character -- a valiant warrior, a leader, a loving friend, and she is also becoming both a woman and a mermaid. But, in this book the biggest growth is not that of her accepting her tail and learning to become a better fighter with it, it is her beginning to accept that she cannot always be in charge -- and that her friends love her for being Aluna, not just the strong warrior and leader she is. The other main characters from Above World -- Hoku, Calli, and Dash -- are fully realized as are the new characters, Tayan, Tal, Rollon, Scorch, Nathif, and many more. The plot is full of action and the fights are marvelous -- as a martial artist, Jenn knows that pain is acceptable if you want to win. My niece adored Above World; I can't wait for her to read this! I can't wait for the final one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dana_M21 More than 1 year ago
I love the way the author creates a whole new world. Its detailed and really draws you in. I love submerging into a story to the point the world around me disappears and I'm some where else. Here you find new breeds of people, exotic creatures, new cultures, bravery, courage, honor, and friendship. The first book was great. This sequel is definitely worth reading. I can't wait for the next book! I wish they'd turn this into a series instead of a trilogy. ^.^
StephanieBurgis More than 1 year ago
This is my very favorite MG series right now, and MIRAGE (Book 2) is even better than Book 1 - which is saying a LOT! The emotional stakes are raised, things are getting harder and harder for co-heroes Aluna and Hoku (for one thing, Aluna is trapped in a desert as she grows her Kampii mermaid tail!), and oh, is the world-building amazing! There is such an incredible sense of wonder to this book, and especially by the end, there's such a feeling of real, mythic grandeur. This is adventure on a genuinely epic scale. I love the way Aluna and Hoku are growing into their (very different) powers, I love how real the different cultures feel, and I love the way some of Aluna's and Hoku's assumptions from Book 1 are seriously challenged in this book. These books are in no way didactic - they're just fabulous, thrilling stories about really wonderful characters - but they carry such a powerful message when it comes to diversity.  I love, love, love this series and this book in particular.