THE SEVERED TOWER
Mitchell’s second in his young adult trilogy is a masterful mix of post-apocalyptic, dystopian science fiction with just a hint of steampunk. His narrative is edge-of-your-seat and nail-bitingly thrilling, his prose concise and visual, his battles epic, his characters memorable, his evildoers nightmarishly atrocious and his stars utterly unforgettable. For full appreciation of this extraordinary series, you’ll want to start with the first novel, Midnight City.
The aliens known as the Assembly invaded Earth a decade ago, and the now adult-less world that’s been repurposed and remapped by its children is becoming more volatile, all while its fate rests in the hands of unsuspecting heroes. Still pursued by Assembly factions, foes and frenemies, teens Holt and Mira are determined to fulfill the prophecies learned in Midnight City that direct them to the Severed Tower where Zoey, a girl with otherworldly powers, can realize her destiny. To achieve this insurmountable feat they must determine why the aliens want Zoey, and rely on unexpected allies as they battle to save civilization. (ST. MARTIN’S GRIFFIN, Nov., 400 pp., $18.99)