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The secret community of Novo Mundum promised everything seven teens craved after the world they knew was destroyed by Strain 7, but they soon realize that Novo Mundum is far from perfect when they find that someone inside has the power to create an even scarier apocalypse. Original.
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Grade 9 Up - A fast-moving, compelling, and plot-driven sequel to The Big Empty(Penguin, 2004). Seven teenagers have found sanctuary in Novo Mundum, an oasis of relative calm, health, and safety in the midst of this post-apocalyptic America. However, someone may be passing information about this place to enemies in the outside world, and they want to find out who it is. Amber, Irene, Diego, and Liza investigate suspicious clues within the settlement, while Michael, Gabe, and Keely are sent out to scout for supplies by Novo Mundum's leaders, Dr. Paul Slattery, a medical researcher, and his brother Frank, an ex-Marine in charge of day-to-day operations. The journey outside takes on grade-B horror-movie proportions, which are described in lurid detail. The group encounters marauding gang members, charred bodies, and a young boy living with the decayed corpses of his parents. However, the discoveries made by the teens within the settlement are even worse, putting all of their lives in danger. Paradise City is slightly reminiscent of John Marsden's Tomorrow, When the War Began (Houghton, 1995), which also features teenagers taking on a post-apocalyptic world in hair-raising and dangerous escapades. However, those characters are realistic, flesh-and-blood young people, while character development in Paradise City is limited to what is needed to move the plot along. Sex is hinted at, but some of the raw language used may be more offensive than the realistic sex in Marsden's series. Undemanding fare for fans of the first book. - Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA
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