Published by HarperCollins (8.17.2021)
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 432 pages
Pittacus Lore finished telling the story of the Lorien Nine. Now, he’s back to recount an all-new adventure rooted in the real mysteries surrounding Roswell, New Mexico, that will enthrall fans of Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, and Brandon Sanderson.
We have waited generations for you…
Syd Chambers knows that there’s life on other planets because he’s descended from it. His father was from a distant world called Denza, and has been missing—presumed dead—for years.
When Syd discovers a device his father left behind that shows not only that he’s alive, but where he is, Syd must set out on a mission of his own. But along the way, he discovers a deadly, unbearable secret that could destroy Denza, Earth, and the universe.
Welp, first DNF of the year!
This book actually started off pretty strong. In the beginning I was into it, and excited about the space aspect. I love space books! Sadly, while the concept was awesome, the delivery was pretty awful. When I saw how bad the reviews were, I was worried; but I was still hopeful, because almost all of the negative ones were audio (which apparently is very robotic, yikes) and I tend to be the black sheep anyway. Unfortunately, it’s actually just the book. I mean, it’s not bad or anything, but it ain’t great, either.
I think the comparison to Aurora Rising and Skyward was terrible marketing, and absolutely kills any potential it might have had. Did ya’ll pull a muscle on that stretch? Because the only similarities are that it takes place in space and has aliens in it. AR and Skyward are both BRILLIANT, diverse, imaginative works. This one just felt like a cheap rip off of other books to be honest. It reminded me of a conglomeration of at least 5-6 other space books/movies I’ve already read/seen. Like I said, the concept was interesting, but it didn’t bring anything new to the table.
If that was the only problem with it, I’d probably still have continued, because I love space stories even if they feel a bit generic. However, the prose was my main issue with this book and 90% of why I decided not to continue. It was incredibly juvenile and grated on my nerves. There was a lot of slang and attempts at cool kid speak (which just sounded like a middle-aged dude trying to sound like a hip teenager) and I wanted to stab myself in the eyeballs by 30%. Some books can pull it off, and it works, but this one? Not so much. It just sounded like it was trying too hard and was absolutely exhausting to read.
The jungle was hot as balls. No better way to put it.
Actually, I’m sure there are a million better ways to put it. But I’m sticking with “hot as balls.”
You should have just left it at hot as balls.
None of us were used to the power. You’re lucky that I’m here to guide you. I’d just gotten a new puppy when NASA picked me for this project. They let me bring him into the Vastness. A week in, I stroked poor Mittens so hard that one of his eyeballs popped clean out.”
I stared at her. “What.”
“Your face, my goodness. I’m yanking your chain, Cadet.”
You could have at least picked a better name than “Mittens” for a puppy, even in a joke (that’s not funny anyway).
On top of the irritating prose, the dialogue was awkward and didn’t feel genuine. Actually, not much about this book felt realistic or plausible. The aliens were hard to picture, and the ones I could just looked ridiculous in my head (especially the Vulpin aka fox people, I was picturing a giant Sonic [yes I know, Sonic isn’t a fox, the description was just as ridiculous as the awful movie CG Sonic, so I couldn’t help it] and snickered every time the Vulpin chick was on page) and it didn’t feel like it could actually happen. I know that sounds silly, as this is a science fiction, but I can’t help compare it to Skyward and Aurora (BLAME THE SYNOPSIS!) where the aliens felt feasible and realistic – like they would actually exist in another world.
Three more complaints: 1) I curse like a sailor, and the usage of the word ‘fuck’ was absolutely unnecessary in the situations it was used in; and 2) Reno was an absolutely absurd Captain because of how unprofessional and immature she was. Just no. 3) this is very small in comparison but the MC had just said he put his backpack down in one of the FOUR corners of the triangular ship and literally on the next page he said all THREE walls were transparent. Inconsistencies like that REALLY bug me, hopefully that gets fixed in final publication.
And here I was super excited for another space book. Bummer.