published January 2011 by Penguin
416 pages (hardcover), YA
2011 Debut Author Challenge ; YA Reading Challenge ; Dystopian February
*reviewed from ARC
This book begins as Amy and her parents are being frozen, to be awakened in 300 years when the starship Godspeed will land on a new inhabitable planet. Unfortunately, Amy wakes up about half a century too early, as her block of ice is rolled out of its freezer to thaw. Luckily, the doctor on board and future leader Elder are able to save her. The story shifts between Amy and Elder, as they try to figure out who wanted her dead and who is continuing to sabotage the cryogenically frozen people on board the Godspeed.
Elder is a leader in training, under the guidance of Eldest, who has the responsibility of keeping the 2,000+ person society on the Godspeed safe and peaceful. The ship is on autopilot, but the people need someone to watch over them. The society functions smoothly, with clearly defined generations (mating is only allowed during the Season) and jobs. People work in fields, genetics labs, and other parts of the ship out of necessity. Although they may not all live long enough to see the Godspeed land on Centauri-Earth, they have hope that their children will. The back cover of the ARC calls this book Titanic meets Brave New World, and I say that's about right. But I can't tell you why!
Others have already said this, and I will agree that the first half of this book was slow. I took frequent breaks because I just couldn't get into it. But then there's a whole lot of action and secrets revealed all at once, and I was flying through it to see what would happen next. I thought the story was lacking at first - I'm a Star Trek fan, I know how these things work. But this is no ordinary science fiction or dystopia - we have murder mystery as well, and tons of twists and turns. There were quite a few "didn't see that coming!" moments that I was rather happy for. Overall, a solid debut and a refreshing dystopia - what can I say? I'm a fan of space travel. Three purple crayons from me.
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