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Flood and Fire

Review

Flood and Fire

The year is 2216, and life is very different from what it was in 2011. Technology is considered evil by most, and all computers have long since been destroyed. All except one --- a very grumpy, obnoxious computer named PSAI. And because one of Lilly's ancestors had been genetically linked to PSAI, Lilly is now the primary user, so she's stuck with it. Lilly and her cat are also stuck with Lexy, the kidnapped daughter of the prime minister whom they daringly rescued. This mismatched group of heroes has seen more than their share of danger and adventure, and it's not over yet.

Lilly, Cat, Lexy and PSAI have been on the run ever since the huge battle at Black Waters. But their little boat is no match for the big ships of the raiders. They have nowhere to hide, but refuse to give up. Just in time, a woman appears and leads them to a temporary safety. This stranger is a professor of silicon antiquities at Cambridge and has been searching for something like the PSAI for a long time. She invites them to go with her to Cambridge so she can study the computer. Since Lilly and her friends don't have many other options, and PSAI is running dangerously low on battery power, they agree to go with the professor. Little do they know that one of her co-workers is their old "friend" Aileen, who's been nothing but trouble to them. Their visit to Cambridge won't be as restful as they had hoped.

Meanwhile, Lilly and Lexy's friend, Zeph, is having some problems of his own. He has returned to the raiders in hopes of taking over his now dead father's job as Boss. While his father's second in command supports him, others don't, including Zeph's very aggressive brother, Roba, who is itching to take control. Before the brothers break out into a war of their own, the raiders' council arrives to settle the matter. The council is all set to take over their territory and enslave the entire family, but Zeph offers an alternate plan. He knows the raiders would love to own the last working computer and use it to defeat the English, and he offers them a deal. He will get the computer and its primary user, Lilly, and trade them to the council for his family's freedom. Zeph feels awful betraying Lilly and Lexy, but he doesn't have much choice; he must make the impossible life-and-death decision between his family and his friends.

Emily Diamand offers another awesome read with her sequel to RAIDERS' RANSOM. Both are unique looks at the future, following the destruction of society known today. She brings up many intriguing ideas, urging readers to think about the tough subjects of war, technology and the environment. As in the first book, she alternates points of view by chapter between Lilly and Zeph, which is a challenging task. But she does a great job of staying in character.

And speaking of characters, hers are very colorful and energetic. Lilly is courageous and independent, kindhearted and strong, while Zeph is defined by honor and bravery, yet struggling between right and wrong. Lexy is plucky and adorable with a wisdom beyond her young years. Even Cat is an intriguing character with his feline antics and complete dedication to Lilly. And one can't forget the computer with the grumpy and sarcastic personality; Diamand's sense of humor shines through PSAI. She also takes on the tricky job of writing in a unique dialect, including alternate spellings (cos instead of because, and rowbot rather than robot).

Those new to the series would be advised to start with the first book, as jumping in here might be confusing. Fans will be thrilled with the sequel as it continues to explode with action, adventure, humor and friendship, all with the strange twist of a future world.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on August 30, 2011

Flood and Fire
by Emily Diamand

  • Publication Date: June 1, 2011
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: The Chicken House
  • ISBN-10: 0545242681
  • ISBN-13: 9780545242684