Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Katherine McGee
In the year 2118, New York City is now a huge tower with a thousand floors. Rylin lives on a lower floor, but gets a job cleaning an apartment only a few levels from the top. Watt lives a bit higher and has an illegal supercomputer that he’s wired into his own head. Eris’s life on one of the top levels comes crashing down when her parents separate. Leda’s glamorous life is all a facade to cover her drug addiction. And Avery lives on the highest level and has everything but the one thing she can’t have: a romance with her adopted older brother. These five characters’ lives become horribly entangled as Leda hires Watt to spy on Avery and they discover Avery’s relationship with her brother. Rylin steals pills from the guy who owns the apartment she’s cleaning who she’s also falling in love with. Eris realizes that Leda’s dad is her biological father. Leda thinks that the reason her dad has been sneaking around is because he’s cheating on her mom with Eris. When all five end up on the roof of the building one night, Leda pushes Eris off in a fit of rage and blackmails the others into secrecy.
The first book in the Thousand Floor series is a tangle of intrigue, relationships, lies, and secrets. Katherine McGee’s writing is fast-paced and well-thought out; she flawlessly maneuvers among the five characters with an ease that allows the story to seamlessly flow and develop. The characters are well developed, a feat given the fact that McGee has to develop five of them in depth. McGee’s futuristic NYC is interesting and described with enough detail to place readers in the sci-fi timeline, but lacks some finer details that might help better balance the sci-fi elements with the Gossip Girl/Pretty Little Liars elements. Some of the plot points and characters are really uncomfortable, particularly the romance between Avery and her adopted brother Atlas. Despite these sticky elements, the book is a page-turner guaranteed to leave readers anxiously awaiting the second installment.
*Contains mild language, severe sexual content, and underage drug and alcohol abuse.