Saturday, June 7, 2008

Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci

c. 2008 Harcourt

This is the nightmare that people have been thinking will happen after 9/11, and it occurs first in a small town….

Cora Holman’s mother is dead of an aneurysm, probably caused by the self-prescribed medication she has been taking for years. Now Cora is alone, and although she wishes her grandmother was still there, she feels she can take care of herself. If only she can shake this virus that has caught up with her.

Down the street, Scott Eberman is trying hard to keep his mother well and his brother, Owen, involved. He’s just come back from taking away Cora’s mother and feels something is wrong…Scott and Owen also have to contend with Rain, their next door neighbor and her chattiness – except she isn’t feeling too well either. It doesn’t help that her father, a suit for a branch of the FBI, is constantly busy and never around.

Shahzad sits in his uncle’s coffee shop hacking away at computers and working hard as a v-spy…tracking down terrorists and reporting back to the USIC on their activities. He lives in Karachi and doesn’t know what’s going on in Trinity Falls New Jersey. He only knows that “Red Vinegar” a viral mutation that kills, is polluting the water and will kill thousands somewhere in the world.

Tyler Ping, whose mother works for the South Korean government, doesn’t know he’s involved right now, but his jealousy of Shahzad’s hacking skills and rise in the FBI will cause secrets and knowledge to become public.

And what started it all was a small puddle of water outside of Cora’s house, on the same street as Rain, Owen and Scott…

Plum-Ucci knows how to write mysteries. What most people think about biological terror, she has put into a gripping YA novel that reveals what could happen. The characters are believable and the situation they find themselves in could be all too real. Adult characters abound in this book, and they take a secondary role to the teens, but they round out the novel as a whole. While most books about terrorism could become dry, this one stays juicy till the very end. Highly recommended.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMG this book is the awesomest! i love it!