A century ago, scientists theorised that a habitable planet existed in a nearby solar system. Today, ten astronauts will leave a dying Earth to find it. Four are decorated veterans of the 20th century’s space-race. And six are teenagers, graduates of the exclusive Dalton Academy, who’ve been in training for this mission for most of their lives.
It will take the team 23 years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years spent in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong. And something always goes wrong.
When I saw this author was going to be at YALC, I was intrigued right away. YA book about space exploration? I am THERE. And I have to say, I haven’t been left disappointed.
Granted, this book was not perfect. But it was so intriguing, enjoyable and had so much depth to it. We follow ten astronauts, 6 of which are young people who have been picked for the long journey to Terra-Two, a brand new habitable planet.
First of all, I adored that this focused on young people. Due to the long journey and need for the astronauts to still be fairly young when they reach Terra-Two, this book also shows them growing up and maturing as the teenagers they are. A 23 year space exploration journey isn’t going to be without it’s problems and sufferings, but throw in 6 teenagers and you have yourself some kind of twisted reality style story. And I loved it.
Seeing the difficulties these teens faced as they dealt with so many struggles on and off the ship was deep, meaningful and hit home for me. And it’s not just the teens, the adults face their own kind of problems too. Each character was deeply troubled in their own way and had suffered their own loss and guilt, and I adored that because it made them real. Of course these astronauts are brave and strong and completely badass, but they have to learn to work with each other no matter their differences.
The setting of space gave these characters a unique backdrop for their rendezvous, and the whole notion of Terra-Two was so interesting to me. Although I couldn’t picture the ship perfectly, I had some idea from the description for the more important scenes.
Unfortunately, I did have a few other small issues with the book that let this review down from 5 to 4 stars. I found the pacing very off. Yes, this book is definitely a slow burner, and in a lot of ways that did work. But I just wish I’d been more driven to pick up this book in the earlier pages, and only found myself fully hooked for the last couple of hundred. I also found that because of the large cast of characters and third person view, some of the more emotional scenes weren’t as gripping as they could have been.
However, these were very small issues in what turned out to be a very enjoyable, somewhat gripping, drama filled novel. It’s a very strong debut, and I’d love to pick up more of Temi Oh’s work in the future.
4 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽