Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Kaimira:  The Sky Village: Book One

Kaimira: The Sky Village: Book One

Monk Ashland, Nigel Ashland
For ages 12 and up
Candlewick Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-0763635244

Mei and Rom have very little in common. Mei lives in China and has had very little contact with the beasts and meks that now control the world. She comes from a small village in China and her people do their best to have nothing to do with either the ferocious animals or the thinking machines that battle one another on a regular basis. By contrast, thirteen year old Rom has to deal with the beasts all the time. In the city of Las Vegas the beasts rule and Rom has to stay one step ahead of them if he and his sister are going to survive.

One thing that the young people do have in common is that they both have parents who read to them from the Tree Book. Mei grew up hearing stories about Rom, and Rom's father read him stories about Mei. Until now neither one of them realized that the stories that they grew up with were about a real person. Now however, Rom and Mei know the truth. Not only do they know that the stories were true, but they can also communicate through the Tree Book, sharing their worries and feelings. For both the young people this connection is precious because Rom and Mei are in deep trouble.

In Rom's case his younger sister has been stolen away and now he has to venture into a hidden world that lies under the city of Las Vegas to get her back. It is a terrifying world that is ruled over by a ruthless man whose only interest in life is to get rich and to acquire power.

Mei's mother has been kidnapped by the meks and though her father has taken her to the Sky Village so that she will be safe, Mei still wants to do what she can to help her mother.

What Mei and Rom do not know is that they both carry something within them that might help them in the battle ahead – or it might destroy them.

In this first title in the Kaimira series readers will get to explore a futuristic world that is full of dangers and unknowns. Humans are no longer in control and both the "beasts" and the "meks" are out to wipe out human kind. The author has created an interesting series of situations for his characters, and he has found a novel way of connecting them – through the pages of a seemingly magical "tech" book. Though younger readers might have a hard time following the events in this story, older readers are sure to be intrigued by the tale and will want to know what happens next.

Readers might like to visit the Kaimira website where they can try to unravel the Kaimira Code and where they can learn more about the book and its authors.