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The Fog diver

First edition.
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2015]
Physical Description:
328 pages ; 22 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
General Note:
Sequel: The lost compass.
"In this futuristic high-stakes adventure, humanity clings to cities on the highest mountain peaks above the deadly Fog, and airships transport the pirates of the skies. Daring 13-year-old tetherboy Chess and his salvage crew must face the dark plans of Lord Kodoc and work to save their beloved Mrs. E"-- Provided by publisher.
Reading Level:
Ages 8-12.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 4.6.

Reading Counts 3-5 4.5 14 68326.


Call Number

On Order



Joel Ross debuts a thrilling adventure series in which living in the sky is the new reality and a few determined slum kids just might become heroes. This Texas Bluebonnet selection--a fantasy filled with daring and hope and a wonderfully imaginative world--is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull.

Once the Fog started rising, the earth was covered with a deadly white mist until nothing remained but the mountaintops. Now humanity clings to its highest peaks, called the Rooftop, where the wealthy Five Families rule over the lower slopes and floating junkyards.

Thirteen-year-old Chess and his friends Hazel, Bea, and Swedish sail their rickety air raft over the deadly Fog, scavenging the ruins for anything they can sell to survive. But now survival isn't enough. They must risk everything to get to the miraculous city of Port Oro, the only place where their beloved Mrs. E can be cured of fogsickness. Yet the ruthless Lord Kodoc is hot on their trail, for Chess has a precious secret, one that Kodoc is desperate to use against him. Now Chess will face any danger to protect his friends, even if it means confronting what he fears the most.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-It's been years since the formation of the deadly Fog that drove the last people from the surface of the Earth. The only remaining humans live in towns high in the mountaintops. With few resources, it's a hard life. For a slum kid like Chess, working on a salvage airship is the best way to keep from starving. As his ship's tetherboy, Chess must dive into the Fog and recover relics from Earth that can be traded for food for his crew. Most tether boys don't last a year. Those who avoid the Fog sharks eventually succumb to Fog sickness in the end. All except Chess. For Chess, the Fog never hurts. Chess's deepest secret is that he was born in the Fog, and it has marked him. His whole life, Chess has kept his head down and avoided notice. Now things are changing. Mrs. E., Chess's guardian, is dying of Fog sickness, and Chess and his friends must race against the clock to get her to the cure. Unfortunately, the greedy Lord Kodoc has found out about Chess's affinity for Fog and has made other plans. With plenty of action, and characters who are as precocious as they are prodigious at their airship duties, this is a fun beginning to a unique new series. An abundance of pop culture references gone hilariously wrong add appeal for reluctant readers. Oh, and there are air pirates! VERDICT A solid choice for fans of adventure series or speculative fiction.-Liz Overberg, Darlington School, Rome, GA (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

Lethal fog covers the earth, forcing humans to live in the skies. Among them are four young scavengers on an airship desperate to save their guardian from a deadly illness but without money to do it--until they find a diamond. Despite its neat futuristic setting, the plot feels charmingly nostalgic (think The Goonies). The crew's banter is amusing if sometimes hokey. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Adult novelist Ross (White Flag Down, 2007, etc.) makes his middle-grade debut with a boy's desperate search to save himself and his crew from a horrible fate in a post-apocalyptic future. Scientists didn't realize the nanites they invented to eat smog would decide humans were a sort of pollution too, pushing them to the mountaintops and covering the rest of the land with a white fog. After hundreds of years, the highest heights are now controlled by the Five Families, with everyone else consigned to the slums below. Chess and his scavenger crew patrol the margins of the Fog by airship, "diving" to retrieve anything of value within reach of his tether. They've managed to scrape by, but Lord Kadoc has heard about his abilities to dive into the Fog and wants to enslave Chess to scavenge only for himfor as long as Chess can last. Ross wastes no time with his worldbuilding, establishing Chess and his crew as a misfit found family working the Fog by day and sharing stories by night. Readers will chuckle at the garbled remnants of their times in such tales as "Skywalker Trek," in which the Klingons battle the Jedi when they are not fighting Tribbles and Ewoks. It's a fresh approach, convincingly delivered, with overtones reminiscent of Dickensthe only thing missing is a sequel, which readers will hope won't be far behind. (Science fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Centuries ago, the Fog, a dangerous, thick white cloud, descended onto earth, bringing with it a plague that killed or sickened most of its inhabitants. Those left have either taken to the skies on makeshift rafts with clockwork engines, or settled on the tops of mountains in expensive communities. It's on a raft that 13-year-old slum kid Chess and his motley crew live, trying to survive on what they can salvage from below the Fog and hiding from the villainous Lord Kodoc. The crew is determined to make it to the glittering city of Port Oro, where they know they'll find a cure for their benefactor's fogsickness, but on the way, they will need to dodge peril with only one another to count on. Ross' clever world building, where Star Wars and Star Trek have mashed up to become the fairy tales of a future steampunk generation, is unique and compelling, and he capably combines heartening emotional growth and absorbing adventure in an engaging read for middle-grade fans of sci-fi and fantasy.--Comfort, Stacey Copyright 2015 Booklist