The Tomorrow Code
The Tomorrow Code
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Annotation: Two New Zealand teenagers receive a desperate SOS from their future selves and set out on a quest to stop an impending ecological disaster that could mean the end of humanity.
Genre: [Science fiction]
Catalog Number: #4793986
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition Date: 2008
Pages: 372
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-375-84365-5
ISBN 13: 978-0-375-84365-5
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Three young New Zealanders square off against a biological apocalypse in this terrifying sf page-turner. Starting with the notion that "quantum foam" might be a key to sending messages back through time, Tane, his friend Rebecca, and his older brother Fatboy discover a series of coded transmissions from their own future selves: a set of lottery numbers, circuit diagrams for a transmitter, and ominous warnings about a "Chimera Project." That last turns out (they discover too late) to be a scientific experiment gone wrong that produces an opaque cloud of deadly organisms designed to detect and kill all human life. Falkner crafts a solid thriller for his U.S. debut, in which immunology, ecological depredation, and Maori culture all play significant roles. Though he doesn't resolve every time paradox (such as where those circuit diagrams originated), his tale hangs together well enough, and features an open ending that will leave readers waiting with fingers crossed.
Horn Book
New Zealand teens Tane and Rebecca hit upon a way to decode transmissions from the future and begin receiving messages--from themselves. The cryptic messages hint at an ecological global catastrophe, and the pair needs to decipher them before it's too late. The apocalyptic novel starts slowly but gathers momentum as the peril advances.
Kirkus Reviews
New Zealand author Falkner makes his U.N.EWSLUGS debut with a book that resonates with a Down Under accent. tautly constructed plot, this fast-paced and all-too-realistic thriller asks both protagonists and readers to consider the implications of humankind's exploitation of the earth and its possibly catastrophic repercussions. Tane and Rebecca, 14-year-olds living in Auckland, receive coded messages from their future selves, warning about an apocalyptic event that only they can prevent. As they decipher the clues and race to take the right steps to save lives, readers are swept into visions of ecological disaster and a planet fighting back. With puzzles aplenty, codes, computers and a submarine called Mobius , this technothriller offers gearhead ecowarriors everything, including a hugely satisfying ending. Character development does not take a back seat to plot, however; told largely through Tane's eyes, the narrative creates a believable and sympathetic cast of characters, both main and supporting. Exciting and thought-provoking, it will raise awareness of serious issues as it entertains. (Thriller. 10 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-"The end of the world started quietly enough for Tane Williams and Rebecca Richards." This intriguing first sentence immediately draws readers into the novel. When two New Zealand teens decode a cryptic message consisting of seemingly random patterns of 0s and 1s, they are alarmed to discover that the message appears to have been sent from the future by themselves via gamma rays and warns of a disaster that could affect the entire planet. Though this is a fine premise for a speculative fiction novel, the book suffers a bit from uneven writing and sketchy science. Still, the action scenes are dramatic, the message decoding is intriguing, and the underlying pro-ecology message of respect for the Earth (or else) is timely and will be enough to keep some readers interested. However, David Klass's Firestorm (Farrar, 2006) and M. T. Anderson's Feed (Candlewick, 2002) are stronger choices. Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
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ALA Booklist
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
Word Count: 81,860
Reading Level: 5.7
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.7 / points: 13.0 / quiz: 125824 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.5 / points:20.0 / quiz:Q45284
Lexile: 830L
The end of the world started quietly enough for Tane Williams and Rebecca Richards, lying on their backs on a wooden platform on Lake Sunnyvale. Which wasn’t really a lake at all.

Sunnyvale School was set in a small valley. A nice little suburban valley. A hundred years ago, it had been a nice little swamp where Pukeko and Black Stilts had competed for the best nesting positions, and croakless native frogs had snared insects with their flicking tongues. But now it was a nice little suburban valley, surrounded by nice little homes belonging to nice little homeowners who painted their fences and paid their taxes and never gave any thought to the fact that when it rained, all the water that ran through their properties also ran through the properties below, and the properties below those, and so on until it reached the lowest point of the valley floor. Which happened to be Sunnyvale School.

As a consequence, Sunnyvale School had to have very good drainage. When it rained hard, as it often did in Auckland in the spring, an awful lot of that rain made its way down from the hillsides and ended up on the playing fields and courts of the small but cheerful school.

And sometimes the water, sauntering its way down the slopes with a mind and a mischievous personality of its own, would playfully pick up odds and ends along the way with a view to blocking those very good drains that the council had put in many years ago after the first and second (and possibly the third) time the school had flooded.

Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t. It depended on what the water happened to find in its path. Little sticks and paper food wrappings washed right through the big metal grills of the drains. Small branches, stones, and other large objects generally just ended up at the bottom of the homeowners’ nice little properties.

But light twigs and pieces of plastic sailed merrily down the surface of the water and blocked the drains beautifully.

That was what had happened this particular time, and the sports fields of Sunnyvale School were covered in at least four inches of water, high enough to lap at the doorsteps of the cheerful little classrooms across the way, but fortunately not quite high enough to get inside.

Tane and Rebecca lay on their backs on the small wooden viewing platform in the center of the two main playing fields and looked up at the stars, for the rain had stopped many hours ago, and the night was clear and beautiful.

Neither of them were pupils of Sunnyvale School; in fact, both of them were far too old to attend the school, and for another fact, both of them were in their second year at West Auckland High School.

However, when they were younger, they had both gone to Sunnyvale School, which was why they knew that when it rained really hard during the day and stopped at night, it became a magical, wonderful place to be.

The stars above shone down with a piercing intensity that penetrated the haze of lights from the suburban homes around the valley. The moon, too, was lurking about, turning the weathered wood of the small platform to silver. All around them, the lights from the sky above reflected in the inky blackness that was Lake Sunnyvale. The lake that sometimes appeared on the playing fields after a particularly heavy rainstorm.

There were stars above and stars below, rippling slowly in the light breeze, and it was like being out in the center of the universe, floating through space on your back.

Tane and Rebecca thought it was the coolest place to be. On Lake Sunnyvale. After the rain.

Tane tossed a pebble into the air, and there was a satisfying plop a few seconds later as it landed. They both raised their heads to see the widening circles of ripples, shaking the foundations of the stars around them. Then, as if controlled by the same puppeteer, they put their heads back down together.

Tane’s fee

Excerpted from The Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

“The end of the world started quietly enough for Tane Williams and Rebecca Richards. . . .”

Tane and Rebecca aren’t sure what to make of it—a sequence of 1s and 0s, the message looks like nothing more than a random collection of alternating digits. Working to decode it, however, they discover that the message contains lottery numbers . . . lottery numbers that win the next random draw! More messages follow, and slowly it becomes clear—the messages are being sent from Tane and Rebecca’s future. Something there has gone horribly wrong, and it’s up to them to prevent it from happening. The very survival of the human race may be at stake!

“[A] terrifying SF page-turner!”—Booklist

“A tautly constructed plot. Fast-paced and all-too-realistic. This technothriller offers gearhead ecowarriors everything, including a hugely satisfying ending.”—Kirkus Reviews

A Top 10 Kid’s Indie Next Winter Pick
A Junior Library Guild Selection

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