Back in the olden days there was a terrible Smog that covered the world. To attempt to rid the air of the Smog, a group of nano-engineers created "Nanites." Their job was to cleanse the air, but the Nanites did their work to well and began to adapt and change, in the end they made themselves into a thick Fog. This Fog does not affect living plants and animals, but causes any human who enters it to get a terrible fogsickness. Everyone so far but Chess, he is different, he has one eye that swims with the Fog in it. Chess is a part of a crew of "slumkids" traveling on aircrafts, scavenging through any wreckage that they find, anything of value that can be sold. Each day they travel further in the hopes of finding one expensive item that can be traded for passage into Port Oro. It's there that the crew hope to find a way to save their beloved Mrs. E from the fogsickness. Mrs. E is the woman who came to Chess' rescue after his mother gave birth to him while hanging in a cage below the Fog. She has been taking care of him, Hazel, Swedish and Bea since they were all little. They make up a tight knit family and now they would like to return the favor by saving Mrs. E. But the crew becomes stuck in a battle between the bosses, mutineers, and Lord Kodoc, a tyrant who rules all of the Rooftop. And Lord Kodoc will stop at nothing to get Chess back, his prize experiment, the one who will help him to finally find the Compass that he desperately needs in order to control the Fog.
The Fog Diver is a fairly fast paced adventure, but there was also a technological aspect that I really enjoyed with the introduction of the Nanites. Aside from the adventure, their is also lots of humor and even some pop references in the stories that Chess tells from his fathers scrapbook. Plus who doesn't like scenes of battling air vessels in the sky and Chess hurtling himself into the abyss of the Fog tethered by nothing but a rope? Very reminiscent of Sky Jumpers by Peggy Edelman and a smidge of Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull. The crew themselves were also appealing, Hazel with her confidence and ability to know just what to do under any circumstance, Bea the mechanic and youngest member, Swedish the pilot and Loretta, who manages to win everyone's trust and confidence in her fighting skills. Lovely little crew, Bea would call it the "purplest."
The Fog Diver has been nominated for the Cybils award and my review reflects my personal opinion, not the opinion of the Cybils committee.