Extreme pollution depicted by trashbergs, think icebergs but made of garbage, in the ocean coupled with the ice age environment and harsh society lead the daring to seek a rumored Blue somewhere in the ocean. Nat escapes from prison using her special abilities and bides her time in Las Vegas seeking a mercenary that can lead her to the Blue. Enter Wes who has a long military/mercenary history. He is the perfect good looking hero with a heart who can take a beating and come out stronger. During the action-packed escape and journey to the Blue, they meet up with other pilgrims and bad guys. While similar to the other science fiction plots where the protagonists strive to find a safe haven, it is the characters that move this novel along. With just the right balance of action, plot, and dialogue, this first book in a planned series (Heart of Dread) should be very popular among teens. This novel stands out among the recent flood of YA books dealing with the future damaged earth and resulting dystopic civilization. A huge thank you to the authors for keeping this novel acceptable for middle grade students!
eGalley review Publication date 09.17.13