Top positive review
A deep and insightful read. Highly recommended.
on April 3, 2017
The blurb gives you the essence of the story: this is a survival story that essentially begins as the comet hits and continues for the next two weeks. The big question is whether Denise and her family will make it on the last generation ship left in Amsterdam (and possibly the world). That remains the question for the book–so if you’re looking for interstellar travel or space pirates or anything of the sort, a quick expectations adjustment will give you a much more enjoyable read. This isn’t an action-packed tale, this is something between a gritty story of survival and an absolutely amazing character study.
Denise is strong, focused, and capable, and just the sort of person I want to be with if NASA tells us tomorrow that there’s a comet headed straight for the earth. She’s also female (obv), biracial, and autistic. Her identity plays into her life in complex and real ways. She has developed coping mechanisms to manage the things that are difficult, and they work brilliantly until they don’t. Frankly, Denise copes so much better than her mother, who cannot find her way to giving up her drug addiction.
In fact, this book has all my heart for an incredible, seamless read that is brilliantly diverse. Denise’s sister is a trans woman, the couple she meets who are trying to help the emergency shelters are Muslims of Moroccan heritage. Our potential love interest happens to be Jewish. There are people of different faiths, gender orientations, races and ethnicities, and it is completely natural because it is completely real. It isn’t trying too hard, it’s just precisely what the world looks like. And, just as in the real world, each person’s identity naturally effects their lives over the course of the story.
I suppose what was frustrating for me in this read was waiting for “something to happen” rather than letting myself stay in the moment with all the small twists and turns. This is very much a story of ground gained and then lost again. Progress is not about the progress of action, per se, as the progress and development of our characters.
Overall, a deep and insightful read. Highly recommended.