Title: Omega City
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Gillian Seagret believes her father’s theories, even when the rest of the world has turned against him. After publishing a book on a Cold War scientist named Dr. Aloysius Underberg, her father lost his job, his reputation, and his marriage. Now Gillian gets the chance to prove her father was right all along—only she never expects the danger she’ll run into on the hunt.
This is a fun book. Older readers will recognize many of the conspiracy theories Gillian mentions, from Area 51 to JFK and more. She’s very willing to take her father’s side in all these matters, while her younger brother, Eric, is less trusting. That said, Nate is easily my favorite character. The lone high schooler in this pack of middle-graders, him doing his brother a favor quickly turns into him feeling responsible to protect the group from the danger they’ve brought upon themselves. Not to mention his humorous introduction and his interactions with Savannah.
All of the characters are well-drawn. Howard could’ve easily been a one-dimensional kid whose only interest is space, but he’s got layers, too. The villains are a bit too straightforward, but then again, this is a middle-grade book, and having the villain spell out her motivation helps give some context to the overall framework for the story. I particularly enjoyed Gillian calling her out on her double-talk.
Overall this is a quick read and full of laughs despite the scares. I rate this book Recommended.