- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
KLIATTJack is a Spacer, working in a bar on an inhabited asteroid. His family was one of the early colonists from Earth, which is slowly being evacuated. Jack's luck is looking up as he is slated for a better job on the distinct colony of Liberty; he is also promised a lucrative amount of credits (i.e., money) if he can find the whereabouts of a sentient bot. Then he bumps into a "rat": a scrawny Earthie girl named Kit. Teenage spacers get their kicks bullying Earthies, and Kit is no exception. However, she is surprisingly wily, and she persuades Jack to help her out. Jack discovers that Kit is bound for Seattle Prime, another space station, to deliver her dead father's great invention: the sought-after bot. Jack knows that inventing intelligent bots is illegal, but when the bot, who names himself Waldo, helps the duo out of a tight jam, Jack can't bear to betray the girl and her companion. As a result, all three are being hunted, and it's hard to tell who are the "good guys" and who are the baddies. Plenty of action and edgy conversations will engage hip young SF readers. Course language is cleverly disguised: "Oh, Pluto!" instead of "Oh, God" and "drekking idiot" instead of standard profanity. "Flash" is used instead of "bad" or "awesome" (to the point of banality), and readers will have fun decoding the SF slang (e.g., "vid," "plexy," "manip," "atmo"). The underlying themes and messages of friendship and dependability are timeless, and the treatment is pretty much violence and sex-free, so this story can be a good "sell" for middle schoolers. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2005, Roaring Brook, 192p., Ages 12 to 15.
—Dr. Lesley Farmer