Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Caretaker Trilogy: Book One - Firestorm

The Caretaker Trilogy: Book One - Firestorm

David Klass
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Square Fish, 2008   ISBN: 0312380186

Jack is a pretty normal sort of boy. Admittedly his is pretty clever, quite good looking, and he is skilled in sports, but he has no reason to believe that he is anything out of the ordinary. And then, on the night when he makes a big coup with his football team, everything changes. He is in a diner when a man looks at him and his eyes flash in the strangest way.

When Jack tells his father what happened in the diner his father starts to behave in a most peculiar manner. He tells Jack to get in the car so that they can go for "a drive" and then he drives like a madman towards the marina. It isn't long before a terrified Jack realizes that they are being followed. During the chaos that follows, Jack's father tells the bewildered young man that he is not his father at all. Jacks mother isn't his real mother either. Jack has to run away as fast as he can before their pursuers kill him.

Then the shooting begins. Whoever is chasing them is trying to kill them! Reluctantly Jack does what his 'father' asks and he makes a getaway on a boat his father bought for him.

Jack does not know where to go at first but he then decides to take refuge in Manhattan. After all, there are so many people there, surely they – whoever they are – will not be able to track him down in the bustling city.

Unfortunately, Jack underestimates his enemies and he almost ends up in their clutches. One of them pretends to be a pretty girl and lures him to her apartment. Once she has him safely secured she transforms into a weird looking creature and attacks him. Jack manages to fight her off and then makes a run for it, but before he leaves the apartment he frees a very large dog. The dog communicates with Jack telepathically and the animal is not only arrogant and high-handed, but he is also quite annoying.

Still, Jack ends up being happy that the dog, Gisco, is with him. Their pursuers are very good at tracking him and he needs the dog's insights to help him stay alive.

The two end up in a barn in North Carolina where Gisco suddenly and inexplicably, abandons Jack. Then a new foe arrives and she proceeds to beat Jack up very thoroughly. Over time he does get better at defending himself and eventually the "ninja" stops her attacks and tells him that her name is Eko. She is actually there to help him, to teach him the skills that he needs to have to survive.

Over the next day or so, as she trains him and teaches him, Eko also tells him a little bit about who he is and why he is in his current situation. Apparently Jack was born one thousand years in the future. His father sent him back in time hoping that Jack would be able to save Earth before the Turning Point, before it got too late. Earth in the future is a terrible place with barren seas and lands. It is an ecological disaster and the planet is quite simply dying. The people in charge of this future Earth care only about themselves and they are blind to what they have done. Jacks parents and others like them are fighting against the powers-that-be and they are losing. Jack is their only hope and Eko and Gisco have been sent to help him find something called Firestorm so that he can save Earth before it is too late.

The problem is, no one knows what Firestorm is or where it can be found. How can Jack fulfill his destiny if he has no idea what he is supposed to do? Could it be that his destiny will find him?

In this gripping and intriguing story a boy-next-door character finds that he is anything but your everyday sort of jock. Instead he is a prince who has been chosen to save planet Earth from humankind. His task is daunting, his enemies terrifying, and the learning curve that he is expected to tackle is almost vertical.

Readers who enjoy science-fiction titles will greatly enjoy this book and will be eager to find out what happens next. The author not only tells a story that is entertaining, but he also gives readers something to think about. Could we really end up like the people of the future in the book, living on a planet that is doomed because we refused to take care of it?