Silver City by Cliff McNish, book two in the Silver Sequence, picks up just where The Silver Child left off (PW said, "The images hang together in a tantalizing, avant-garde way"). As the Roar draws nearer, Milo (the silver boy of the launch title), Thomas (the healer) and psychic Helen (among others) put their gifts to work as they attempt to keep the Roar at bay. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
In book one of the Silver Sequence, Silver Child (Carolrhoda Books/Lerner, 2005/VOYA June 2005), six children heard the Roar, the sound of a ravenous being heading Earthward, and were drawn to the garbage dumps of Coldharbour. There each youth mutated or demonstrated strange powers. As the book ended, Milo transformed into a gigantic "angel," and the world's children were irresistibly called to Coldharbour. In this sequel, two hundred children mutate into metallic Drillers and start digging to the center of the earth, mind-driven by the Roar's imprisoned son, Carnac. Freda and Emily, the insect children, develop waterproofing and dive deep into the ocean, where they locate Earth's great first Protector, imprisoned by the Roar eons earlier. Thomas, whose "beauty" empowers all transformations, nearly loses his life to the Drillers and Carnac. As the book ends, the Drillers are freed from Carnac's control, Milo is holding off the Roar's first assaults, and Emily and Freda are leading thousands of children miles deep into the ocean to release the Protector. Fantasy needs an internal logic to be successful, and the novel fails in this basic requirement. Multiple absurdities and inconsistencies mar the plot. It is unfortunate because McNish is good at creating likeable characters and exciting situations. Even the starving Roar (and her children) has personality and motivations. If teens liked the first book, they will want to read the second in the series. Otherwise give it a miss. VOYA CODES: 2Q 3P M J S (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, definedas grades 10 to 12). 2006, Carolrhoda Books/Lerner, 256p., Ages 11 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-McNish continues his clever blend of science fiction and fantasy. The Silver Child (Carolrhoda, 2005) saw six children drawn by some unknown force to Coldharbour, where they each discovered extraordinary abilities that would help protect them from an approaching danger known as the "Roar." Now, children from every corner of the planet are descending on Coldharbour. With Milo-the silver child and one of the original six-protecting the others from the sky in his massive, angel-like form, the remaining five must keep the newcomers from new threats hidden deep in the Earth's core. It is through the voices of Thomas, the healer, and Helen, the psychic, that McNish's story truly takes shape. Though the other characters can be a little flat at times, these two continue to move the action forward. For readers looking for something imaginative and distinctive, Silver City will not disappoint.-Lisa Marie Williams, Fairfax County Public Library System, Reston, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.