K.A. Applegate, author of the wildly popular Animorphs books, begins a brand new series with a bang. In the gripping Mayflower Project, the first of the Remnants series, she establishes several diverse characters and the tensions and alliances between them and sets them on their way into the wild blue yonder. Hip lingo, faintly futuristic technologies, and kid-next-door characterizations draw readers in--the plot hooks 'em for good.
The cast of characters? A 14-year-old technogeek who calls himself Jobs after computer king Steve Jobs; the angry, aggressive son of America's African American woman president; a dreamy, psychic boy, adopted as a toddler from an orphanage in Chechnya; and a driven, strikingly beautiful, yet horribly disfigured girl who calls herself 2Face. The year is 2011 and these four, along with 76 others, are destined to meet on a hastily jerry-rigged shuttle whose sole aim is to leave Earth before the giant asteroid that is hurtling through space blows the planet to smithereens. Amid confusion, skepticism, and sheer panic as the world comes to terms with its impending, inevitable doom, the chosen few are whisked to Cape Canaveral to board a pitifully small, shabby steel tube NASA has optimistically named the Mayflower. They leave everything behind, including any hope of returning; vast, endless space is the only certainty in their future.
Applegate's hungry Animorphs fans, perhaps a little older now, will be thrilled with her latest series, knowing the 80 earth escapees have many, many riveting adventures ahead of them. After all, the sky's the limit. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter