Maxwell Unger is a boy trapped in his house all day long with a creepy caretaker. He cannot go outside and play. He cannot go to school. In fact, he never is allowed anywhere because he has a rare disease. If any sunlight touches him, he'll die. The world is a bleak and gloomy place. The High Echelon, greedy and grasping, tried to control the weather and ended up causing a mini-apocolypse in the year 2066. Their experiments ended up shifting the earth's axis, altering tides and magnetic fields, triggering massive explosions in the atmosphere and blowing up nearby planets. Plagues were rampant, much of the earth's flora and fauna went extinct and thousands perished. This only solidified the Echelon's control over the populace and soon all history was rewritten. Life became a colourless, drab existence. No books, no stories, no fun. Work, work, duty and government approved entertainment. Your basic totalitarian government and dystopian society. But with a twist. We have Silver Owls and Sages on one side and on the other the evil society of Alzarin Oro. There are prophecies and Night Seers, Dark Brigadiers, skraeks. As well as a stubborn runaway girl named Artemis Rose. Together, she and Max have to help fulfill an ancient prophecy.
It is an interesting story, but it took me a long time to warm up to the two main characters, events were extremely coincidental, (always at the right place to hear some crucial plot point, something would always show up just when needed) and I do not care for it when things are too easy. No clear resolution to the overall conflict, so it requires a sequel, though the story could likely have been told in a stand-alone offering. The tone is very middle-grade and occasionally the two MCs, both 11 -going-on-12, sounded way younger.