Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


The novel begins with the introduction of Waverly and Kieran, two teens in love aboard a spaceship on its way to New Earth (we don't know what has happened to Old Earth, though a few allusions are given...and it's not good). They are among the oldest of the children finally born on board; there had been a serious infertility problem until a breakthrough was made. So when Kieran (at age seventeen) proposes marriage, everyone is thrilled because it's their duty to marry and reproduce; still, Waverly harbors a few doubts in the form of whether she's ready to be a mother and also in the body of Seth, a much more dangerous boy than the church going Kieran. None of this really matters when the sister ship to the Empyrean, New Horizon, pulls alongside the ship and a siege begins, only ending when all of the girls are taken to the New Horizon. The Empyrean is sabotaged, the adults exposed to radiation, and the girls are gone. 

From this point on, the story is told in alternating points of view in different sections; we see what's happening onboard New Horizon as the girls are separated from their former lives and also back on the badly damaged Empyrean. Kieran makes a couple of bad mistakes in his new role as successor to the captain and is roundly vilified even after he makes life-saving decisions; Waverly soon recognizes that the "kindly" pastor in charge on New Horizon is anything but, and her plans for the girls are creepy and invasive. The action is fast and fierce; I found my opinions changing very quickly as to whom was good and whom was evil. Ryan also isn't afraid to "go there"...there are really bad things going on, and no one is safe. Violence, heretofore unknown on Empyrean, becomes rampant with an almost Lord of the Flies feel. I was sucked in and entrenched from the first pages, desperate to find out what would happen next. Definitely one of the better, more well executed dystopian novels I've read recently, and I cannot wait for the sequel.

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