Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

First, I absolutely loved this book.
I first heard about it in mid-November when The King's English bookstore had Kevin Emerson there for a book signing. Unfortunately, I didn't go and now I very much regret this. I had been contemplating getting a copy of the book ever since and finally bought it. I am so glad I did.

Books like The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson are the reason I am not allowed to start new books after 8pm. I started at 930 and the next time I looked at the clock it was midnight. I loved this book from start to finish, it drew me in with the post apocalyptic beginning and held my attention to the genetic memory and crystal skull end.

The Lost Code is set in 2086 in the EdenWest Biodome. Global warming has had an extreme effect on the world and there are very few safe places left to live. With a small strip of habitable land in the far north everywhere else that hasn't been reclaimed by the ocean is now a desert wasteland. The world population has dropped by six billion and much of those left now live underground or in one of six Biodomes. Life inside the biodome isn't particularly safe either, citizens must use noRad, a very, very strong lotion blocking UV rays.

But that is the background of EdenWest, where this book really is set is at Camp Eden, a summer camp located inside EdenWest.

Main character Owen Parker is a new arrival at Camp Eden, a summer camp that reminds the campers of what it was like before global warming and humans made the majority of the planet uninhabitable. He is from the Yellowstone Habitat, a system of caves and caverns located in, you guessed it, the former Yellowstone National Park. From the start Owen is given the nickname Turtle and picked on by the leader of the cabin, Leech. Leech is considered a hotshot simply because he is a repeat camper at Camp Eden.

"The morning after I arrived at Camp Eden, I drowned for the first time."
-Page 1, The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

During the cabin swim test Owen gets a cramp in his side and drowns. When he is pulled up the councilor in training Lilly tells him that he was underwater for over ten minutes but not to tell any of the staff. Miraculously, Owen is fine with the exception of weird gashes on both sides of his neck. Much of what happens after this in the book is all a result of his near drowning.

Owen gain a bit of popularity at the camp for his accident, especially with Lilly the CIT. She tells him to join her and the other CITs at lake for a night swim which Owen is more than eager to do. That night when he joins them for the first time he gets the surprise of a life time - the wounds on his neck aren't wounds at all, they are gills! Owen is shocked to find out that he can now breathe under water, a trait that the CITs also share.

The rest of the book is his attempt to hide this new ability from the camp director while searching to find out why exactly this has happened to him.

I seriously loved this book, I was very surprised with how good it was. I couldn't put it down once I had started, even if it did make me stay up past my bedtime.  I would rate it a 4 1/2 out of 5!

Recommended books:
The Lightening Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)  by Rick Riodan - While The Lightening Thief isn't post apocalyptic like The Lost Code it is very similar in my mind and just as good. It also deals with a teen boy finding out about new mysterious powers and even going to summer camp. However, The Lightening Thief uses ancient Greek while The Lost Code is Atlantean.

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