Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Page #: 307
Source: ARC from the publisher @ BEA
Summary from Barnes and Noble (not much of a summary on the book itself):
"If a violent battle destroyed the only world you’ve ever known, would you be brave enough to save who was left? Would love be strong enough to survive the fight? Either way, there’s no turning back.
The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Still, there’s a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage, and she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.
Suddenly, Waverly’s dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable – a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. The New Horizon’s leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.
"The other ship hung in the sky like a pendant, silver in the ether light cast by the nebula. Waverly and Kieran, lying together on their mattress of hay bales, took turns peering at it through the spyglass."
Just to start things off, I do want to mention the cover of the book. The one I read is the image above. I did see recently that a different cover has been released. So the one I put here may or may not be the final cover.
The story is about two vessels that were launched from Earth once to a point where it was destroying itself. The people on the ships are to be the colonists of New Earth - a whole new planet to continue the human species. Each ship has different ideas about the other. Enough so that one of the ships attacks the other - causing our main characters to be stripped apart and forced into two totally different worlds.
I've never read a book like this before. Rarely do I read space stories. Really. I'm all for science fiction, but I've always steered clear of the space stuff. I'm not sure why... but I really, really liked this one.
After further thought about it though, I think the difference between some space stuff and this one is simple. Aliens. There aren't aliens in this book. It's just about people dealing with other people who are in similar circumstances. It could have taken place anywhere, but the issues of gravity and growing crops and fertility all make it very specific to the environment. I really loved the creativity.
This book is absolutely packed with action and drama that the kids on the ships face. There's so much packed in, you feel like things are in constant motion. Though, that helps a lot with the flow of the book. It's so well written and thought out. There is enough description that you can imagine the setting - even though it's such a stretch. At least for me.
One of the overarching themes of the book seems to be strength. The strength to go on. The strength to pull through. The strength to lead those around you... and so much more. There are some things that are underlying issues about the people on the ships that you never hear straight out. But you understand how things may be and how they affect the children in the story. That's pretty vague, but you don't hear about it fully until the middle of the book and I don't wanna skew your view of the beginning :).
I will definitely be recommending this book. Especially to those who are into lots of action and adventure. Both boys and girls can get into this one - you have one of each as protags. I would probably keep it to older teens. There is a lot of death and fighting that is pretty intense. There are also some issues mentioned that are pretty adult in nature - they may not be fully understood by younger readers.
This is the first book in a trilogy and I am so excited for the next one. And yes, this one isn't published until September, so it might be a while. One thing I loved is that while I know there will be a next book, I didn't feel like we were left on a huge cliffhanger. Yes, I want to know what happens next... but I'm not stuck in the middle of a thought. Loved it!
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