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- author Jackie French

Friday 1 November 2019

Review: Final Storm

A shadow has fallen over New City. It comes shrouded in stealth and insidious manipulation. Future World Solutions claim to be building a better world for the young people with renewable, solar systems and robotics. All the rescue eagles are been replaced by robot look-alikes. Human-identical robots are being programmed to act as subservient people.

Sneddon, believed dead, returns incognito. His now refined and respectable image backed by wealth and power, masks the emotional cauldron that boils within him. Ambitious and uncompromising, he now totally controls the weather patterns.

Jeremiah, the climatologist and children’s guardian, has lost his job at the Bureau. After being accused of not foreseeing the mysterious out-of-control weather snaps that brings with them cold and sickness, he now lives in squalor. Isabella, Griffin, and Xavier are forced to move from his home into the mansion where Aleksander, the mysterious new boy at their elite school resides supported by an unknown patron.

A woman appears claiming to be Isabella’s lost mother. Isabella accepts her unconditionally. But is she really who she says she is?

All these shifts from the normality of the children’s lives stem from one agenda. There is an obvious flux in the story as well, in sync with the change of weather and its destructive force - pressure exerted by Sneddon on the climate.

Isabella is drugged and kidnapped and again finds herself trapped in flooded Grimsdon facing another tsunami. Is this the end for Isabella this time?

The lead character Isabella is outstanding. She is indomitable, strong, smart and courageous. The secondary characters’ individual gifts complement Isabella’s strength of character and reveal all that they are when together. They are emotionally, tightly bound to one another due to their shared experiences. This is the issue that propels the story. The end brings a surprising and unexpected twist.

The third book in the trilogy, Final Storm is a novel full of action and adventure. I regret not having read the former two titles, Grimsdon and New City, as I would have enjoyed the connecting continuity to this story.

Deborah Abela has created a powerful series that expresses hers and most people’s underlying concerns regarding the lack of immediate action toward climate change. It also demands strong attention to the increasing introduction of robotics which carries with it, the slow but definite dissolution of human capacity.

Title: Final Storm
Author: Deborah Abela
Publisher: Penguin, $16.99
Publication Date: August 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780143794462
For ages8 – 12
Type: Middle Grade Fiction