A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The Lost Code is set in the wake of ecological disasters caused by climate change. Some of the possible effects are presented with a high degree of plausibility (rising oceans, dangerous levels of ultraviolet radiation, forest fires across the continental United States). Much of the plot, however, hinges on a more fantasy-based, lost-civilization concept that doesn't bear up under scientific scrutiny.
In The Lost Code, the protagonist learns to see through the web of lies created by the authorities who run Camp Eden. As he undergoes a physical transformation, Owen Parker also develops the maturity to question his assumptions about life in a civilization overwhelmed by climate change.
Positive Role Models
After he nearly drowns, Owen discovers that he's undergoing a physical metamorphosis. He also begins to take interest in things other than camp hijinks and begins to see how odd Camp Eden truly is. His curiosity and bravery leads him to oppose the forces that would misuse the legacy of the ancient Atlanteans.
Violence & Scariness
The Lost Code has a fair amount of action-adventure violence, most of which (fist fights, a stabbing in self-defense, a shooting seen from a great distance, a villain being killed with an arrow) shouldn't be disturbing to most readers. The notable exception is a somewhat graphic and unnerving scene in which the protagonist visits a medical facility where fellow teens are being dissected alive.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
The main characters of The Lost Code, Owen and Lilly, are physically attracted to each other. They flirt, kiss, and cuddle, but there's no depiction of activity more intimate than that.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Language includes infrequent use of words including "bastard," "piss," "hell," "balls," and "screw you."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Lost Code is a post-apocalyptic novel that takes a while to pick up steam; it's oddly concerned with summer rituals rather than narrative momentum. There's action-adventure violence in the second half (fist fights, a stabbing in self-defense, a shooting seen from a great distance, a villain killed with an arrow) and a somewhat graphic and unnerving scene in which the protagonist visits a medical facility where fellow teens are being dissected alive. Infrequent strong language includes "bastard,""piss," "hell," "balls," and "screw you."
Is It Any Good?
The Lost Code starts with a gripping moment of jeopardy, but the plot then stalls for nearly half the book, spending too much time with summer camp shenanigans. Eventually the narrative hits its stride, but even then, some readers will feel they're a step or two ahead of the characters.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.