Momentum by Saci Lloyd

You know what got me reading this book?

The cover.

I can't quite remember when all the teen book covers started using photographs and looking like movie and shampoo ads - but once upon a time the majority of book covers consisted of drawings. The stylized retro look of this cover -- plus the huge eyes made me pick up the book right away.

Surprise, surprise -- it's another dystopian. But, having heard of Saci Lloyd's Carbon Diaries (confession: I haven't read it yet), I decided to give this a try.

In this future society, the world is going through an energy crisis and everyone is scrambling to figure out how to generate more energy. Society has been split into two main groups: the wealthy, powerful Citizens and the poor Outsiders who rebelled against harsh government regulations. Everyone is hooked up to an eyepiece that enables them to escape to a virtual reality and communicate with each other.

Hunter Nash is a privileged citizen who secretly sneaks into the favelas, Outsider territory. He's fascinated by their freedom and the way they run up walls and jump from rooftop to rooftop. Here the Outsiders are hunted by Kossaks, the brutal government army force who destroys their homes and indiscriminately beats and kills them. Hunter knows there'll be serious trouble if he's seen in the favelas, but he's training himself to jump like the Outsiders and can't stay away.

The trouble starts when Hunter sees a Kossak shoot down a young Outsider boy and stumbles on the boy's secret funeral procession. Suddenly he's caught up in hiding the key that will reveal the Outsider's security network -- something that the Citizen government would kill for.

I like how the action in this book starts right away (someone gets killed in the first ten pages) and pretty much keeps rolling through the book. There are a couple good surprises along the way and I found the conclusion to be satisfying in that it was realistically open ended, but resolved enough of the plot to end the book.

I would have liked to have the whole jumping from building to building thing among the Outsiders play a larger part in the plot (I thought this element was actually cooler than the virtual reality bit) and I'm not convinced that Hunter's character was as developed as it could have been, but all in all, this book is a good high energy, fast paced one that will grab the attention of most readers.

Check out Saci Lloyd's website where you can watch Momentum's book trailer and find information on her other two books, Carbon Diaries 2015 and Carbon Diaries 2017. Oh, and take a look at the links on her website to youtube videos of Pakour -- yes, real-life people actually scale walls and leap from buildings like the Outsiders in Momentum...

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