Book Review: The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson


The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

Age Range: 13 and up

Paperback: 464 pages

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; Reprint edition (April 23, 2013)

Source: Purchased

Rating: 4 of 5 stars


In the year 2086, Camp
Eden promises summer “the way things used to be,” back before the oceans
rose, the sun became a daily enemy, and modern civilization sank into
chaos. Located inside the EdenWest BioDome, the camp is an oasis of pine
trees, cool water, and rustic charm.

But all at Camp Eden is not what it seems.

one will know this better than 15-year-old Owen Parker. A strange
underwater vision, even stranger wounds on Owen’s neck, and a cryptic
warning from the enchanting lifeguard Lilly hint at a mystery that will
take Owen deep beneath Lake Eden and even deeper into the past. What he
discovers could give him the chance to save the tattered planet. But
first, Owen will have to escape Camp Eden alive…


“The high-stakes narrative moves forward with momentum, and a romance
between Owen and Lilly is gracefully unveiled.” (Publishers Weekly )

Lost Code will satisfy teens’ thirst for post-apocalyptic dystopian
novels with just the right amount of suspense, adventure, science
fiction, fantasy, and romance, but without the brutal violence found in
other stories. Readers will eagerly devour Owen’s tale and look forward
to its continuation.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) )

ending of the book leaves plenty of room for the sequel, and readers
will likely be intrigued enough to continue.” (School Library Journal )

smart dystopian adventure packed with mind-blowing fantasy and
characters you’ll love.” (Michael Grant, New York Times Bestselling
Author of the Gone series )

“The Lost Code will stop your heart
with scenes of passion and power, as it draws you in to a group of kids
who are the only hope in a dying world of artifice and desperation. What
happens to them is like nothing you’ve ever read.” (Peter Lerangis, NYT
Bestselling author of two books in the 39 Clues series, and co-author
of Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am )

“The broad strokes of
conflict and characterization make this a movie-ready action flick at
heart…an accessible entree to the dystopia trend.” (Bulletin of the
Center for Children’s Books ) 

About the Author:

Kevin is the author of the OLIVER NOCTURNE series and CARLOS IS GONNA
GET IT. His newest novel for teens is THE LOST CODE, from Katherine
Tegen Books. His next middle grade novel, THE FELLOWSHIP FOR ALIEN
DETECTION, comes out in January 2013 with Walden Pond Press.

is also a musician. His current project is the brainiac kids’ music
band THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, where he writes imaginative, poppy songs
about elementary school and life (and Star Wars) in the spirit of
Schoolhouse Rock.

A former science teacher, Kevin continues to
work with teens at 826 Seattle, Richard Hugo House, and with the Writers
in the Schools program of Seattle Arts and Lectures.

Kevin grew
up in Cheshire, CT, where he wrote stories all the time, played in the
marching and jazz bands, and ran track. One time, he won a spelling bee,
prevailing over his ex-girlfriend in the final round. The word that
launched him to victory was ‘vague.’ Another time, as a contestant in
the Mr. Cheshire pageant (a benefit: not a real pageant), Kevin chose to
wear an actual suit of armor as his ‘formal wear.’ He also dressed up
as Ethel Merman for the musical number. He didn’t win.

Kevin went
to Colby College in Waterville, ME. As a sophomore, he was excited to
begin the creative writing program, but instead was given his alternate
class: Painting. He ended up loving painting and kept writing stories on
his own. He also played in the jazz ensemble, and sang in the Chorale,
and ended up majoring in Biology. He spent a semester in Kenya studying
wildlife conservation.

Kevin moved to Boston after college, where
he briefly worked as a bank teller, and then as a camp counselor, before
getting a job as an elementary school science teacher. He found that he
loved teaching, and was good at making messes with kids. Teaching got
him excited about books for young readers, and so he set out to write
his own. He had two near-misses, and his third manuscript, CARLOS IS
GONNA GET IT, landed him his first book deal.

Kevin now lives in
Seattle with his wife and two children. He prefers omelettes to
scrambles, and in the great debate between the taco truck and the crepe
truck, Kevin is team taco truck, always.

 Website | Twitter

My Thoughts:

I won the second book in this series in a giveaway, and bought this
book (the first in the series) so I could read them in order. This was a
fun book to read. It was a dystopian fantasy novel, something I haven’t
seen before.  I also enjoyed the way it was told from a boy’s point of
view. You don’t see that very much in YA.

I gave this book four stars. I really enjoyed the premise and the world
that Kevin Emerson built. It was unique and different from other
post-apocalyptic novels I’ve read. I didn’t give it the final star
because there were several times when the writing didn’t flow perfectly and I
had to re-read sentences or paragraphs a few times before they made

That being said, this is a very interesting look into our future (and
past) that I really enjoyed. If you are looking for a good, clean young
adult novel for your teenage son (or yourself), then this is a
good choice.

Content: very moderate amounts of violence and kissing.

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  • Reply
    T. Drecker
    June 9, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Dystopian YA from a boy's point of view are hard to find. Glad to here it's worth reading too.

    • Reply
      June 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      You don't see much YA from a boy's POV. It was refreshing to read it. The story was interesting, too. I'm about to start book #2.

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