The Ark Plan (Edge of Extinction)

The Ark Plan (Edge of Extinction)

 
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The Ark Plan (Edge of Extinction)
Author(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
May 10, 2016
ISBN
9780062416223
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Jurassic World meets Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in this epic new middle grade series full of heart-pounding action and breathtaking chills!

One hundred and fifty years ago, the first dinosaurs were cloned. Soon after, they replaced humans at the top of the food chain. The only way to survive was to move into underground compounds. . . .

Five years ago, Sky Mundy’s father vanished from North Compound without a trace. Now she has just stumbled on a clue that not only suggests his disappearance is just the tip of an even larger mystery, but also points directly to the surface. To find her dad—and possibly even save the world—Sky and her best friend, Shawn, must break out of their underground home and venture topside to a land reclaimed by nature and ruled by dinosaurs.

Perfect for fans of Brandon Mull, Lisa McMann, and Rick Riordan, this exhilarating debut novel follows two courageous friends who must survive in a lost world that’s as dangerous as they’ve always feared but also unlike anything they could ever have imagined.

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Finally! Dinosaurs!

What's worse than being an orphan? Being an orphan in a dystopian world where scientists have brought dinosaurs back to life only to have them bring viruses with them that wipe out a huge chunk of the population and contribute to the downfall of civilization! Sky Mundy's mom died when she was born, and her father disappeared on a mission five years ago. She is being grudgingly raised inside the North Compound, one of the underground communities where survivors have banded together and kept some semblance of civilization going for 150 years. Sky has never really been outside, since most people who go outside are soon attacked by dinosaurs and killed. When she finds a letter from her long-gone father, however, she decides to follow the instructions in it and travel to Lake Michigan to see if she can find her father. Her best friend, Shawn, who only has an aunt to care for him, decides to go with her, and the two venture out into the treacherous world together. Luckily, they soon make the acquaintance of Todd, whose small community has found a way to live in trees and survive dinosaur attacks that way. Unfortunately, the forces behind Sky's community manage to track her down and attack Todd's community, taking everyone who lives there away. The three children are left alone with limited resources to survive and solve the mystery of Sky's father.

Good Points
This gets big points for a fresh, new dystopian vision that involves dinosaurs in an intriguing way! There are not enough middle grade books that involve dinosaurs, and many readers who thought of nothing else in first or second grade are always glad to see an adventure book for older readers involving this passion! I liked how the tree dwellers and the underground dwellers were largely unaware of each other, and the challenges faced by both groups were very different, but equally chilling. Sky and Shawn have a nice friendship, and the addition to their group of Todd, who has completely different skills and a different outlook, makes the adventure more interesting.

I really liked the descriptions of the underground compound and the details about every day life within it. In that way, it had some similarities to Stuart Gibb's Space Case or DuPrau's City of Ember. Readers who liked Baldacci's The Finisher, Hughes' A Crack in the Sky or Mikaelsen's Jungle of Bones will appreciate the adventures in the wilderness, and readers who want dinosaur books will be thrilled to help Sky identify the types of dinosaurs that are attacking!

There is most likely a sequel to this-- crucial information about Sky's past and her father's activities are mentioned late in the book, and the group's mission isn't finished by the time the last page is breathlessly turned!
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DINOSAURS!!!

Over all this is like a mix between The Hunger Games (tyrannical and evil government willing to kill children) and Jurassic Park (dinosaurs). The Ark Plan has become one of my new favorite books, and I'm really excited to see what the second book brings!

Good Points
First of all, I must admit that I'm not really a sci-fi kind of person. The future always seems to be too technology advanced for my liking. Plus I have really bad anxiety as it is, and any talk of the future and the potentially end of the world/human race makes it even worse. So I was a little iffy about picking up this book, but the one thing that made me have to read it was the DINOSAURS.

Yes. Dinosaurs. I love those big lizards. The thing is that it seems like fiction in general doesn't seem to love them as much as I do. For the love of me, I can never find any books that include dinosaurs or really any extinct creatures really. The dinosaurs are sitting on top of a treasure trove of story ideas, whether it be in the prehistoric past or the far off future.

Now back to the story. My fear of the sci-fi was unwarranted. The technology used by both the compounders and the marines isn't outrageously advanced, which means the the dinosaurs are still a huge threat to everybody. There's no robots or overpowered guns that could take down a T-Rex or such. In fact I feel this could actually take place in today's day and age.
As for the dinosaurs, I can really tell that the author did her research. Today we know that dinosaurs are related to birds and that some of them have feathers. Laura Martin described those feathers, which is a rare thing to do. Like not even the newest Jurassic Park movies, one of the most notorious pieces of dinosaur medias, have added those feathers.
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