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Derelict (Halcyone Space) Paperback – May 31, 2014
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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". . .an edgy, nonstop flight into an audacious SF future with unremitting danger as your pilot and thrilling adventure your destination."
--Lynn Viehl, NYT best selling author, Stardoc & Darkyn series
"Intricate plotting melded seamlessly with delightful characterizations kept me turning pages as fast as I could. . ."
-- Nathan Lowell, creator, Golden Age of the Solar Clipper
"LJ Cohen deftly weaves together realistic teenage characters, futuristic technology, and big stakes for a real page turner."
--Wen Spencer, Award winning author, Ukiah Oregon & Elfhome series
"Cohen has real talent with character development and interaction, and prickly, defensive Ro is a sympathetic and interesting heroine."
About the Author
LJ Cohen is the writing persona of Lisa Janice Cohen, poet, novelist, blogger, local food enthusiast, Doctor Who fan, and relentless optimist. Lisa lives just outside of Boston with her family, two dogs (only one of which actually ever listens to her) and the occasional international student. When not doing battle with a stubborn Jack Russell Terrier mix, Lisa can be found working on the next novel, which often looks a lot like daydreaming.
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Top customer reviews
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Programming and artificial intelligence are big parts of this story. The information of what is being done is well described, and I (programming novice) had no trouble following the ins and outs of the many problems Ro has in her attempt to fix Halcyone. I appreciated the speculative elements of what future programming and AI communication might well become. I’ve read several articles that hint at what Cohen has build into her story.
Most compelling was the excellent construction of the different characters. Cohen has developed each with a strong personality and well-explained skill sets. Each felt hard done by their circumstances, but reacted in different ways: Barre, an exceptional musician, turns to drugs; Ro becomes an engineering workaholic; Micah lets revenge be motivation, while Jem, the youngest, is super eager to do what he most loves—programming. All of their unique abilities are vital to extricating them from dangerous plans of smugglers and pursuit by their own government.
What I loved most about the book were the technical details. Cohen writes about technology and computers with more skill and acuity than any writer I’ve read in recent memory. In the hands of lesser writers, lengthy passages about hacking, electronic security, or repairing communications systems might get stale or unbelievable -- but Cohen writes with such adroit precision that this simply never happens.
This is not to say that the book neglects its characters -- far from it. Each is vibrant and well-drawn, and the conflicts are all organic and credible. DERELICT tells a story about the family you choose over the family you’re born with. The young men and women of the story are frequently alienated from the common family structures many of us take for granted, and must learn to be inventive and self-reliant in a universe that’s stacked the deck against each of them.
I enjoyed it a lot, and am looking forward to the sequel. Recommended.
I found Derelict to be an easy read but did seem to be for YA audiences. This shouldn't set you off as an adult reader though. The easy flow of the story lends itself to emotional involvement in the characters. By the time I was done reading I was cheering for the whole crew of the Halcyone. Perhaps it's because even though the book is set in the future the underlying challenges of parental conflict, loneliness, paranoia at doing the wrong thing, even unrequited love are elements of the present. These elements help to suspend disbelief. They are well written enough to overcome some plot wholes, like where did the ship get it's fuel, the kids being more rational than adults, the sometimes comical way things are dealt with. I giggled at the musical interactions.
If you're looking for a female protagonist, some spunky kids with a do or die attitude, and a spaceship that is temperamental this is the book for you.