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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kaimira: the Sky Village by Monk & Nigel Ashland

Publication Date: July 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3524-4
Price: $16.99

The Sky Village is the first in a planned five book series, dealing with a semi post-apocalyptic future. At some unspecified point in time in history, although given the technology, probably far in our future, a war broke out between the human race, animal kingdom or "Beasts", and technology, or the "Meks." The Meks come off a bit like clone war droids, and the "Beasts" seem almost to possess human qualities at times, Elk and Moose acting almost like generals with a surprising degree of sentience, there's also the fact that at numerous points species appear in the desert when its a distinctly inhospitable environment for them. The story picks up a thousand years after, when things are starting to heat up again between the Meks and the Beasts.

Mei is a 12 year old girl living in China whose village, Luo Ye, is attacked by the Meks. Her mother is captured, and her father goes after them. Before Leaving to hunt the Meks though, he leaves Mei at the Sky Village, a bundle of interconnected hot air balloons that are home to a large group of humans who have divorced themselves from life on the Earth. Her father gives her a mysterious book, called "the Tree Book" before he departs, out of which he has read her stories of a boy named "Breaker" her whole life.

Unknown to Mei, a boy named Rom Saint-Pierre, nicknamed Breaker, lives with his sister Riley in the abandoned ruins of Las Vegas Nevada. Hiding from the Beats, scavenging for food, they've managed to stay alive, until their father appears, acting like a beast, and they run to a friend, who takes them to the Demon Caves, a place where humans bet on fights between demonic entities summoned from the depths of their controller's mind. Before entering the caves, Breaker discovers his father's Tree Book, from which he's heard stories about Dragonfly, Mei, since he was little. But there is a sinister presence in the Tree Books, and the fate of the world may well rest in the hands of two unsuspecting preteen children half a world apart from one another.

The fighting demons reminded me of about a dozen different beast battle anime and manga series. Triggits, small diamond like pieces of tech, along with helmets are used to summon and control the demon. Crush the triggit and win. But wait! Because of the Kaimira gene both Mei and Rom, who is forced to fight in the demon battles possess, Rom doesn't need the tech! I won't give away the ending, except to say that the Sky Village really functions as world creation and set up for the rest of the series, which looks to be a pretty wild ride.

Given, the Sky Village isn't exactly revolutionary, however, any child or adult fan of Sci Fi/Fantasy should find something of interest in this series, and I will definitely be looking out for the next book in the series.

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