The Overthrow: Hatch by Kenneth Oppel

The Overthrow: Hatch by Kenneth Oppel. Alfred A. Knopf, 9781984894762, 2020

Format: Hardcover, 399 pages

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Science Fiction

What did you like about the book? The second book of the The Overthhrow series will be sure to engage readers and fans of Oppel’s work.  This book can be read out of sequence, as the title provides enough back-story to familiarize readers with events that happened in book 1, Bloom.  The story is told from the perspectives of three friends: Petra, Anaya and Seth.  Due to this, readers are given more insight into the main characters.  All three characters have grown up together and faced adversity and strange things that started growing on their bodies, as a team.  When a cryptogenic species starts to overtake the planet, all of them became aware of abilities that allow them immunity from environmental attacks.  They soon realize that other children are having similar changes, feathers, fur, and acid resistant-skin.  The new abilities do not go unnoticed by the government. Afraid that they may be giving information to the alien invaders, scientists isolate them in an underground bunker to study their adaptations.  The three main characters are having problems agreeing on whether the scientists’ end-goal is to help or hurt them or how to help the rest of humanity.  Matters begin to heat up when Anaya is contacted by one of the aliens.  Now they have to decide whether all the children should stay or run for their lives.  The story is detailed with many supporting characters being well fleshed out.  The end of the book contains the first chapter of the third installment of the series, a perk for fans of the series.  Readers will be hard pressed to put this down.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  The plot is easy to follow. Acronyms are used and not explained in this volume that may have been explained in the first.  

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers in grades 5 and up who enjoy stories about aliens, friendship, or other titles by Oppel, will enjoy this text.  

Who should buy this book? This would be a good purchase for intermediate schools or public libraries that cannot get enough Science Fictional or Oppel novels.  

Where would you shelve it? Science Fiction 

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  I feel that this title would reside near the top of a “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: May 27, 2021

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