The tomorrow code by Brian Falkner
Walker Books, Australia, 2008. Random House Books (US)
(Ages 12+) Highly recommended. 'Crack the code or tomorrow is history' is the phrase on the front cover of this thrilling sci fi novel that looks at how people are exploiting the world and how nature might fight back against an ecological disaster. Teenagers Tane and Rebecca receive a coded message from the future, warning them about catastrophic devastation that only they can prevent. Together with Fatboy, Tane's brother, they must decipher the clues and try and stop the shapes in the mist made by an experiment gone wrong, from killing everyone in the world.
Don't be put off by the rather bland cover, this is one of the most exciting thrillers that I have read and I feel it can be compared with Patrick Ness's The knife of never letting go for sheer suspense. I read this book in one sitting. It has a tightly plotted story line that compels the reader to keep reading.
The three main characters have to use their intelligence to crack the codes. They work out how to win a lottery and use the proceeds to buy a submarine called Mobius. Lots of exciting action follows involving driving the submarine to an isolated island where research is being undertaken, riding motorbikes and fighting as ecowarriors. The three teenagers are believable, well rounded characters, with sibling rivalry and a dysfunctional mother well portrayed.
As well as people who love a good thriller, readers who enjoy mathematics, codes and technology will be fascinated by the science behind the book and can read about it at the book's site. It is on the shortlist for the Esther Glen Award.