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Jeff Nielsen
Jennifer Nielsen is the author of "Deadzone."

"DEADZONE: HORIZON BOOK 2," by Jennifer Nielsen, Scholastic, $14.99, 208 pages (f) (ages 8-12)

In "Deadzone: Horizon Book 2," Utah author Jennifer Nielsen picks up where the first book left off and introduces the reader to a whole new ecosystem, pushing the characters further into their mysterious predicament.

At the end of the first book, a group of children who had survived a plane crash had just made their way through an unfamiliar jungle. There were plenty of monsters, and even the land held a few surprises for them.

In this second installment of a planned seven-book series, Nielsen takes the kids to a desert landscape called the Deadzone. There, Molly, Javi, Yoshi, Akiko, Kira, Anna and Oliver must face blood sand — the sand that hides creatures who navigate by the smell of blood and that sucks you under at any sign of moisture — and creatures both giant and tiny to fight to stay alive.

With food and water scarce but random technology and devices showing up, the kids are starting to think the crash wasn't an accident, and survival may mean playing and winning a game.

Scholastic is taking this survival game to the next level with a free game readers can play on their computer, smartphone or tablet. The reader may create a character, get past obstacles and creatures, collect gadgets, solve puzzles and interact with other users.

Nielsen, a New York Times best-selling author, does a good job of reminding the readers about the first book while adding new discoveries and revealing more answers to lead the reader deeper into the Horizon world. With alternating narrators in each chapter, the reader gets to know each character and see the world from different points of view.

"Deadzone" is fast paced and action filled with an ending setting the reader up for a whole new ecosystem in the third book.

"Deadzone" has no foul language or sexual content. There is some violence, but it is nongraphic and involves injuries the kids sustain during their journey.

If you go …

What: Jennifer Nielsen book signing

When: Monday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m.,

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East

Web: kingsenglish.com

Note: The signing line is for those who buy a copy of the featured book from The King’s English.

Tara Creel is a Logan-native-turned-California-girl and mother of four boys. Her email is [email protected], and she blogs at taracreelbooks.wordpress.com.