Here is the second book in the sci-fi thriller CHILDREN OF EXILE series. The first book by that name came out last year and was high on my to read list. I just never got to it. I decided to go ahead and read them out of order, reading this second book first for review deadline purposes. Turns out I didn’t have to worry about not knowing what was going on as this stands well on its own with a different narrator, twelve-year-old Edwy Watanaboneset.
He has an attitude about everything, but it’s hard to blame him for his obnoxious personality. Edwy was whisked away at birth and sent to a place called Fredtown to be raised by his Fred parents. The Freds preached about the good things in life and Edwy never got many answers to what this was all about. Now he has been sent back to his original home and after spending just 24 hours with his real parents, he’s taken away to Refuge City where he meets an equally irritating older brother and sister for the first time.
The worst part is he’s separated from Rosi, the narrator of the first book. She’s the closest person he has to a friend. I know this from his thoughts in Book 2 and after going back and reading Book 1, which begins as they find out they are being sent home from Fredtown.
There are aliens and humans up to no good in CHILDREN OF REFUGE, but Edwy’s mission becomes clear: Find out what happened to Rosi and try to rescue her. Full of thrilling moments, perplexing issues, and a futuristic city on earth, this one had me until the end… or rather the beginning for Book 3. Superb writing throughout the fast moving 41 chapters.
PUBLICATION DATE: 2017 PAGE COUNT: 272
FULL PLOT (From AMAZON)
It’s been barely a day since Edwy left Fredtown to be with his parents and, already, he is being sent away. He’s smuggled off to boarding school in Refuge City, where he will be with his brother and sister, who don’t even like him very much. The boarding school is nothing like the school that he knew, there’s no one around looking up to him now, and he’s still not allowed to ask questions!
Alone and confused, Edwy seeks out other children brought back from Fredtown and soon discovers that Rosi and the others—still stuck in the Cursed Town—might be in danger. Can Edwy find his way back to his friends before it’s too late?
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: CHILDREN OF REFUGE
- Edwy’s thoughts on the three places he knows: Fredtown, Cursed Town, and Refuge City. It’s a puzzle almost too big for anyone but especially entertaining to hear it from his youthful introspection.
- The adult character, Udans. His fate is unknown but I hope to read more about him in the next installment.
- The world building is so well done you feel like you are there as a part of Refuge City.
- I wasn’t keeping track but it seemed like a something new evolved out of each chapter. Superb story telling that will grip young readers to read one more chapter.
- There are a lot of discussion topics generated from how we treat each other to questions about whether we are getting closer to this fiction earth in the real world.
FAVORITE LINES (and I liked the action packed beginning):
The man lunged out of the darkness to grab me as I ran by.
“Let go!” I screamed, struggling to break away. “Let! Me ! Go!”
I was already being chased by a pack of angry men. It didn’t seem fair that someone I hadn’t even seen was after me too.
FROM THE AUTHOR, Margaret Peterson Haddix:
As a kid, I also longed for a career that I didn’t actually believe real people got to do. The far-out, only-in-your dreams career I wanted was to be an author. All the grown-ups I knew were farmers (like my dad) or nurses (like my mom), teachers or dentists, housewives or grocery store clerks, etc., etc. The only authors I’d ever heard of were, well, just in books. (For the full story visit Margaret’s bio page)