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Omega City
First edition.
New York, New York : Balzer + Bray, An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2015]
Physical Description:
324 pages ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
bk. 1.
Gillian Seagret doesn't listen to people who say her father's a crackpot. His conspiracy theories about the lost technology of Cold War-era rocket scientist Dr. Aloysius Underberg may have cost him his job and forced them to move to the middle of nowhere, but Gillian knows he's right and plans to prove it.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader MG 4.8 10.

Reading Counts 3-5 4.3 15.


Call Number

On Order



The first middle grade novel in an exciting new series from acclaimed author Diana Peterfreund, perfect for fans of The Goonies and The City of Ember.

Gillian Seagret doesn't listen to people who say her father's a crackpot. His conspiracy theories about the lost technology of Cold War-era rocket scientist Dr. Aloysius Underberg may have cost him his job and forced them to move to the middle of nowhere, but Gillian knows he's right and plans to prove it.

When she discovers a missing page from Dr. Underberg's diary in her father's mess of an office, she thinks she's found a big piece of the puzzle--a space-themed riddle promising to lead to Dr. Underberg's greatest invention. Enlisting the help of her skeptical younger brother, Eric, her best friend, Savannah, and Howard, their NASA-obsessed schoolmate, Gillian sets off on a journey into the ruins of Omega City, a vast doomsday bunker deep inside the earth,.

But they aren't alone inside its dark and flooded halls. For while Gillian wants to save her dad's reputation by bringing Dr. Underberg's secrets to light, there are others who will stop at nothing to make sure they stay buried . . . forever.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-Omega City narrowly avoids being a cliché among adventure books for the preteen set. It has a clueless professor dad, a villain so obvious that kids will spot her the moment her four-inch heels click onto the scene, preternaturally intelligent kids, and a secret that could save civilization-if the heroes can get to it first. But Peterfreund packs the novel with so much suspense, history, and science, readers can't help but overlook the traps of the genre and get enthralled in the story. A group of kids-Gillian; her younger brother (by 11 months) Eric; their friend Savannah; space savant Howard; and Howard's older brother Nate-find themselves in a race to discover an invention that could change the world. Their search leads them to an underground city built during the height of the Cold War. There the young heroes are chased and put into life-threatening situations by the villain and her henchmen. The plotting is fast paced and exciting. Readers-like Gillian and her friends-will hardly have time to catch their breath before each new twist and turn. VERDICT Peterfreund mixes science and history in a way that may appeal to nonfiction readers as well as to action fans.-Marie Drucker, Malverne Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

The missing page from a kooky aerospace scientist's lost diary is the clue that sends Gillian Seagret, her younger brother, and her friends on an adventure into an underground bunker. But the treasure she expects to find-the prototype for a long-lasting battery-is nothing compared to what they actually discover: the subterranean Omega City, built during the Cold War to support life if the Earth were to become uninhabitable. The city has fallen into disrepair, and the pitfalls in its crumbling depths are as much a threat as the trio of armed thugs who are trying to steal Dr. Underberg's inventions for themselves. In this fast-paced series opener, the author's first for middle-graders, Peterfreund's (Across a Star-Swept Sea) focus on character development is complemented by the equal attention she gives to the vast underground city itself. Gillian's instincts to protect her friends and clear her historian father's tarnished name are admirable, but Peterfreund gives every character the opportunity to grow, revealing themselves for who they really are. Ages 8-12. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Gillian's father is a disgraced historian, but Gillian is determined to prove his conspiracy theories are true by solving the riddles left behind by a Cold Warera inventor. Unfortunately, she isn't the only one searching. Conspiracy theories, intrigue, scene-stealing secondary characters, and an underground-bunker setting will keep readers entertained until the end. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Gillian's dad's conspiracy theories ruined the familybut what if he's right?With their parents divorced, 12-year-old Gillian and her brother, Eric, live with their disgraced scientist father in their former summer home. Mom is abroad researching a book and not likely to come back to the States soon. Dad's biography of the controversial (and missing) engineer Aloysius Underberg ended his career. Now, all the unemployed history professor does is speak at conspiracy conventions and read seminars on the like. That's where he met his new more-than-friend Fiona. Gillian's distrust of Fiona leads her and her friends to discover missing pages of Dr. Underberg's journalwhich leads them to discover a secret underground bunker-city that is twice as hard to escape as it was to find, especially with gun-toting secret agents on their heels. Gillian wants to find Dr. Underberg's 100-year battery or at least proof that her father is not crazy, but what she and her friends find is much more amazingand dangerous. Teen author Peterfreund tries her hand at a sci-fantasy thriller for a younger audience and misses the mark. Though her conversational first-person narrator is personable enough, the coincidence-dependent plot has significant holes, and the thrills are sadly uneven. A secondary-at-best middle-grade thrillerhere's hoping the sequels improve. (Adventure. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Gillian Seagret's dad is obsessed with Dr. Underberg, a Cold War scientist specializing in technologies for surviving a postapocalyptic world, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. After losing his job as a history professor, her dad is now fixated on solving many of the mysteries of Dr. Underberg and his inventions. What happened to the plans for the 100-year battery? Did he ever make a prototype survival suit? And where is he, anyway? Meanwhile, Gillian is fixated on proving that her dad isn't a paranoid nut. Her skeptical brother and popularity-obsessed BFF don't help her efforts, but when she discovers that her dad's new lady friend is in possession of stolen files and may be after the same answers, only for different reasons, Gillian knows she is onto something major. Enlisting space-savant Howard and his brother, Nate, the kids solve the puzzles left by Dr. Underberg and find themselves deep underground in Omega City but even deeper in trouble. With seamless writing, a thrilling plot, lots of engaging science puzzles, and remarkable characterization, Peterfreund's exciting tale keeps the adventure solidly in the foreground. Young readers looking for a page-turning quest should get into this planned series on the ground floor.--Willey, Paula Copyright 2015 Booklist