The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson Review

Monday, June 4, 2012

Title: The Lost Code
Author: Kevin Emerson
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's
Publish Date: May 22, 2012
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Pages: 435
Source: Publisher
The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy. But global climate change is not something new in the Earth’s history.

No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race—a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process.

Now it is Owen’s turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry…and that less-than-ordinary can evolve into extraordinary.
The world as we know it is ancient history, at best. The world in which Owen Parker lives is one that is nearly decimated by man's impact - with deadly solar power, consistently changing climates and an unpredictable environment that seems to want to kill everyone on a daily basis. Owen, however, could very well be the key to bringing back a past where the world was safer to live in and the Earth wasn't destroyed by mankind. To unlock his destiny and a code that could save millions, as well as the failing Earth, Owen has be willing to embrace anything and everything that comes his way, and reality will never be the same again.

For some reason, my friends, The Lost Code has flown relatively under the radar on the YA market. When I received it for review, I'll admit I didn't know the first thing about it and, to be entirely honest, I wasn't too sure that any book could stand out within a very crowded genre these days. Kevin Emerson has deftly crafted a cunning start to a new dystopian adventure series that's thrilling, intoxicating and every bit the tease. Giving us characters that are engaging and dynamic, a plot that speeds along towards a thrilling climax, having book one will make you crave book two. Violent, destructive and highly atmospheric, The Lost Code is certain to have you in its hold.

I've seen a lot of people touting The Lost Code as a YA version of the Percy Jackson series, and that both excited and irritated me. First of all, most of you know just how very much I love Percy. Second of all, I really want a book to reach past that stereotype, and I think it's insanely easy to rest on such laurels at that point. It's because of this that I can say I'm truly, truly glad to have been wrong. The Lost Code is addicting. Humorous at times, bleak and tragic at others, this novel soars. Owen was a great character. I felt like I could truly access his mind and, therefore, his internal dialogue, because the author wrote him so very relatable. It's a difficult feat for a male author to write a male lead the female readers can empathize with and feel for. Yet, I felt like I was on the same journey as he, and I desperately wanted to help him solve these clues as his adventure unfolded. I'll admit that, at times, the novel lagged. The book starts with a bang, and it continued on that path for a good bit, but there was a ton of information to unfold. I think the ending dragged a wee bit longer than the beginning, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Overall though, the benefits of the story including the original plot, fantastic secondary characters and entertaining dialogue really outweighed the few cons.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Lost Code. I thought it was fun, refreshing and engaging. I give it a 4 out of 5, and I definitely highly recommend it to all fans of YA and upper MG, especially those who enjoy dystopian fiction and adventure.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. Dystopian Adventure books are definitely a huge highlight for me, this one sounds absolutely fantastic! Thanks for the great review, and for bringing this book to my attention!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  2. "Violent, destructive and highly atmospheric" - I'm intrigued! ;)
    Great review, Melissa! I'll have to add this to my TBR list.

  3. This was a DNF for me. I had trouble connecting with the characters. But glad to hear you enjoyed it! I love the concept, though. I might try to pick it up again at a later date.


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