So, hey, I ended up liking this book! I will read the other two in the trilogy forthwith. It seems like they were MEANT to be a trilogy, so hopefully they won't be suddenly terrible.
The narrator was pretty annoying, but I got used to it. And the blurb said that the book is for nine and up, so I guess it makes sense that she was so sing-songy about it. I'll be reading the next two in the flesh, though.
It's not exactly breaking any new ground in terms of scifi themes (in the future, there is no war and everyone gets along, but it's because everyone's been brainwashed to think that everything is great! Oh you don't say!), but there are enough neat gadgets to keep my attention. And the kids don't make a bunch of dumb decisions that make me want to kill them, but not so many good ones that it's unrealistic.