by Beth Revis
Wow, this book covers a lot of genres. I guess it is a YA science fiction, a bit of a thriller and set in a dystopian setting. The book is told in alternating POV chapters between Amy and Elder (the next leader of the ship).
Revis answers the question How could you travel 300 light-years and colonize a planet? Well, you would freeze most of the colonists but build a ship big enough to allow certain people to live, breed and create food in the ship to make sure things go according to plan. You need to make sure there are some scientists, some farmers, some leaders and some workers. The problem is, and we saw this in the City of Ember as well, after multiple generations people change, lose knowledge, make power plays and forget why their ancestors set out on the journey they were born into.
Amy is frozen along with her parents to colonize a planet 300 years away. She wakes up 50 years short of her destination. She now has to navigate the world on the ship Godspeed where she doesn’t look like anyone on board (they are all monoethnic to reduce issues). Not everyone knows about the frozen passengers and she is invading and sowing discord in their tightly controlled world. She is a problem and there is nowhere to run inside of a spaceship.
It was an interesting story. The idea of how to keep a society smoothly running and happy within the confines of a ship is fascinating. The ship must have been huge though and while there are descriptions, I coudn’t really get a vision of it in my mind’s eye. For a while it is a little murder/mystery, there is a bit of teen angst and emotion and romance. Not as much romance as that cover seems to promise, but a tiny bit. Speaking of the cover, I really like it. I have seen some “space” covers lately and the characters look out of place with the planets in the background, the colors are off comparing the two or the saturation is so different and I think this one is pretty, you see space without having to be kicked in the head by three different white planets.
As for the mystery – I did figure out who was doing stuff quite early on. There are plenty of clues, almost too many. I also figured out another little mystery before the reveal as well. But there were some twisty little curvy bits and fairly large bombshells I didn’t see coming. I am curious how they will handle one of those in the next book. I liked it a lot, it was entertaining and thought provoking, just parts of the mystery were a little loose. But the situation is fascinating. Could mankind live on a ship and be content, even if they never saw stars or earth before? How do you keep people from causing problems, making changes or sowing dissent?
This is a crazy future in space. The people have forgotten and specifically not been taught the truth about earth, history and their mission. There is much to be said about the winners writing the history…but this is the living writing history to teach the lessons they want to future generations to learn. I wonder, if faced with this situation, what I would do. I am very interested in seeing where Revis takes Amy and Elder and the people of the ship, especially since there is a bit of a curveball thrown at the characters at the end. I liked it and will eventually be reading the next one, 3.5 stars.