The Tomorrow Code

The Tomorrow Code

4.4 44
by Brian Falkner
     
 

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“The end of the world started quietly enough for Tane Williams and Rebecca Richards. . . .”

Tane and Rebecca aren’t sure what to make of it—a sequence of 1s and 0s, the message looks like nothing more than a random collection of alternating digits. Working to decode it, however, they discover that the message contains lottery

Overview

“The end of the world started quietly enough for Tane Williams and Rebecca Richards. . . .”

Tane and Rebecca aren’t sure what to make of it—a sequence of 1s and 0s, the message looks like nothing more than a random collection of alternating digits. Working to decode it, however, they discover that the message contains lottery numbers . . . lottery numbers that win the next random draw! More messages follow, and slowly it becomes clear—the messages are being sent from Tane and Rebecca’s future. Something there has gone horribly wrong, and it’s up to them to prevent it from happening. The very survival of the human race may be at stake!

“[A] terrifying SF page-turner!”—Booklist

“A tautly constructed plot. Fast-paced and all-too-realistic. This technothriller offers gearhead ecowarriors everything, including a hugely satisfying ending.”—Kirkus Reviews

A Top 10 Kid’s Indie Next Winter Pick
A Junior Library Guild Selection

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Teenagers Tane and Rebecca fight genetic engineering gone wild in this fast-paced eco-thriller. Brainy Rebecca is the first to look for messages in a series of mysterious gamma ray bursts, but Tane's solid common sense and comfort with nature—part of his Maori heritage—makes the team fairly equal . . . until Tane's big brother enters the scene. "Fatboy" has a Harley motorcycle and a brand new Maori face tattoo. Naturally, both make him irresistible to Rebecca while creating some serious sibling rivalry between the brothers. Meanwhile there is a lottery to win, a mini-submarine, and an army of macrophages disguised as Pillsbury Dough Boys on steroids to destroy. New Zealand writer Brian Falkner sets his clever story in his own backyard. Contemporary Auckland, its suburbs, and the off-shore islands beyond become attractive settings for this end-of-the-world scenario. An added bonus is that readers can also get involved in working out the computer puzzles presented within the story. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

"The end of the world started quietly enough for Tane Williams and Rebecca Richards." This intriguing first sentence immediately draws readers into the novel. When two New Zealand teens decode a cryptic message consisting of seemingly random patterns of 0s and 1s, they are alarmed to discover that the message appears to have been sent from the future by themselves via gamma rays and warns of a disaster that could affect the entire planet. Though this is a fine premise for a speculative fiction novel, the book suffers a bit from uneven writing and sketchy science. Still, the action scenes are dramatic, the message decoding is intriguing, and the underlying pro-ecology message of respect for the Earth (or else) is timely and will be enough to keep some readers interested. However, David Klass's Firestorm (Farrar, 2006) and M. T. Anderson's Feed (Candlewick, 2002) are stronger choices.-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK

Kirkus Reviews
New Zealand author Falkner makes his U.S. debut with a book that resonates with a Down Under accent. With a tautly constructed plot, this fast-paced and all-too-realistic thriller asks both protagonists and readers to consider the implications of humankind's exploitation of the earth and its possibly catastrophic repercussions. Tane and Rebecca, 14-year-olds living in Auckland, receive coded messages from their future selves, warning about an apocalyptic event that only they can prevent. As they decipher the clues and race to take the right steps to save lives, readers are swept into visions of ecological disaster and a planet fighting back. With puzzles aplenty, codes, computers and a submarine called Mobius, this technothriller offers gearhead ecowarriors everything, including a hugely satisfying ending. Character development does not take a back seat to plot, however; told largely through Tane's eyes, the narrative creates a believable and sympathetic cast of characters, both main and supporting. Exciting and thought-provoking, it will raise awareness of serious issues as it entertains. (Thriller. 10 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375843655
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
07/28/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
321,998
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

The end of the world started quietly enough for Tane Williams and Rebecca Richards, lying on their backs on a wooden platform on Lake Sunnyvale. Which wasn’t really a lake at all.

Sunnyvale School was set in a small valley. A nice little suburban valley. A hundred years ago, it had been a nice little swamp where Pukeko and Black Stilts had competed for the best nesting positions, and croakless native frogs had snared insects with their flicking tongues. But now it was a nice little suburban valley, surrounded by nice little homes belonging to nice little homeowners who painted their fences and paid their taxes and never gave any thought to the fact that when it rained, all the water that ran through their properties also ran through the properties below, and the properties below those, and so on until it reached the lowest point of the valley floor. Which happened to be Sunnyvale School.

As a consequence, Sunnyvale School had to have very good drainage. When it rained hard, as it often did in Auckland in the spring, an awful lot of that rain made its way down from the hillsides and ended up on the playing fields and courts of the small but cheerful school.

And sometimes the water, sauntering its way down the slopes with a mind and a mischievous personality of its own, would playfully pick up odds and ends along the way with a view to blocking those very good drains that the council had put in many years ago after the first and second (and possibly the third) time the school had flooded.

Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t. It depended on what the water happened to find in its path. Little sticks and paper food wrappings washed right through the big metal grills of the drains. Small branches, stones, and other large objects generally just ended up at the bottom of the homeowners’ nice little properties.

But light twigs and pieces of plastic sailed merrily down the surface of the water and blocked the drains beautifully.

That was what had happened this particular time, and the sports fields of Sunnyvale School were covered in at least four inches of water, high enough to lap at the doorsteps of the cheerful little classrooms across the way, but fortunately not quite high enough to get inside.

Tane and Rebecca lay on their backs on the small wooden viewing platform in the center of the two main playing fields and looked up at the stars, for the rain had stopped many hours ago, and the night was clear and beautiful.

Neither of them were pupils of Sunnyvale School; in fact, both of them were far too old to attend the school, and for another fact, both of them were in their second year at West Auckland High School.

However, when they were younger, they had both gone to Sunnyvale School, which was why they knew that when it rained really hard during the day and stopped at night, it became a magical, wonderful place to be.

The stars above shone down with a piercing intensity that penetrated the haze of lights from the suburban homes around the valley. The moon, too, was lurking about, turning the weathered wood of the small platform to silver. All around them, the lights from the sky above reflected in the inky blackness that was Lake Sunnyvale. The lake that sometimes appeared on the playing fields after a particularly heavy rainstorm.

There were stars above and stars below, rippling slowly in the light breeze, and it was like being out in the center of the universe, floating through space on your back.

Tane and Rebecca thought it was the coolest place to be. On Lake Sunnyvale. After the rain.

Tane tossed a pebble into the air, and there was a satisfying plop a few seconds later as it landed. They both raised their heads to see the widening circles of ripples, shaking the foundations of the stars around them. Then, as if controlled by the same puppeteer, they put their heads back down together.

Tane’s feet were pointing one way, and Rebecca’s were pointing the other, so the tops of their heads were just about touching. If they had been boyfriend and girlfriend, they might have lain down side by side, but they weren’t, so they didn’t.

From an open window in a house somewhere on the surrounding slopes, an old Joni Mitchell folk song reached out plaintively across the water to them.

Rebecca said again, “Time travel is impossible.” She said it more firmly this time, as if that were simply the end of the discussion, and the judge’s decision was final, and no correspondence would be entered into.

Now, ordinarily Tane would have given up at that point, because Rebecca was almost certainly right. After all, it was Rebecca, and not Tane, who had aced her Level One Physics exams the previous year, the top student in the entire country, at the age of just thirteen! Which had been no real surprise to Tane, who had been in the same classes as his friend as she had confounded science teacher after science teacher and math teacher after math teacher, by somehow, instinctively, knowing as much about the subject they were teaching as they did.

Some teachers enjoyed having Rebecca in their class because she was very, very clever, if a little rebellious and uncontrollable at times. But other teachers found it stressful to have a girl among their students who took great delight in correcting them whenever they made mistakes.

So if Rebecca said that time travel was impossible, then time travel was impossible. But there was something about the stars that night. Something about their slow drift through the heavens above and below them, something about the beautifully random and randomly beautiful patterns they made.

Or then again, it might just have been that Tane liked to argue, and he especially liked to argue with Rebecca.

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Meet the Author

Brian Falkner is a successful children’s book author in his home country of New Zealand, where he lives with his wife, their two kids, and two dogs. To learn more about Brian and his books, visit brianfalkner.com.

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Tomorrow Code 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
DylanR More than 1 year ago
Brian Falkner’s Tomorrow Code is a book of suspense, mystery, and thriller. Tane and Rebecca have been best friends since  their early childhood. Now they are 14 years old and have decided to decode messages through gamma rays because they were talking about that topic so they decided to try it out. They were decoding Morse Code, and sequences of 1’s and 0’s. This kept happening until they decoded the message, “SOS”, and the winning lottery number. This leads them on an adventure that may well save the world. This thriller is filled with action, submarine chases, and climbing towers. Throughout the story, you can notice t he change in the relationship between Tane, Rebecca, and Tane’s older brother, known as “Fatboy”. It is exciting to see what troubles they all encounter. Also it is exciting to see how they conquer those obstacles. This story turns into a quick read after starting it because of its great story line making it hard to put the book down. In conclusion, Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner is a great book for any reader because of its great plot and adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a great read. The main characters, Tane and Rebecca, talk about a machine that sends messages between the future and the present. But things get realistic when Tane and Rebecca get messages from gamma ray blasts, and the messages were actually sent from themselves in the future. It was up to Tane and Rebecca to figure out what was going on with the Chimera Project and stop whatever was happening. But as things get out of control Tane and Rebecca end up as wanted criminals, and to make matters worse a white fog is destroying the human race. In the end its up to Rebecca and Tane to figure out how to stop the fog from destroying the world. This book had good scientific explanations and was well written. I would recommend this book to most teenagers because it is a good book for science fiction but it also provides a life or death situation. -EKO
Monkey234 More than 1 year ago
Ready for the really intense book? Well if you read the tomorrow code you will find that. Once you start reading you don’t want to put it down. The Tomorrow code is full of Sci-Fi, Adventure and modern action. Brian Falkner's first U.S. book is one of the best book I have ever read. Brian make you feel like you are with the characters throughout the whole book. The reason I think The Tomorrow code is a great book is because it has a lot of action, adventure, and thrill. The Tomorrow is a good book because the author make you forget about the world around you and pulls you into the book. It is filled with lots of action. The tomorrow code is amazing it is mostly realistic because just like in real life, sonar bounces back, water flows downhill, and a million dollars is a lot of money.This book is full of adventure because tane and rebecca have to break into an Island. I would suggest this book for anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked the book alot just didn't enjoy the ending
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is dometimes hard to follow but eventually you can understand what they're saying. It was an interesting concept though. I think it is suitable for ages 14+ but thats just my opinion. A great read though.
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This is the best non series book i have ever read. Highly recomended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I suggest this book to anyone and everyone-great sci-fi thriller!
lmcc1122 More than 1 year ago
I know it's a good book when I can't put it down! The characters are interesting and the story is good!
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angel9121 More than 1 year ago
i didn't like the ending but it's a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My dad brought this for me and i loved it. Pair this with Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley or The Cave by Mumford and Sons and you've got an even better book.
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