Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stunning Space

* I received this ARC via LibraryThing

This book gets a glowingly grand
5 out of 5 gnomes for having two wonderfully complex yet relatable main characters and one heck of a tension filled claustrophobic setting.  

The cover of this book is beautiful, I'm a sucker for anything space related.  The two faces on the cover also make sense in the context of the story and it adds a lot of impact to the cover.

I was hooked on this book after reading the first chapter, it's very intense and really makes you think if you would make the same choice that Amy does.  It's been awhile since a first chapter made me want to read a book so much.  It really makes you contemplate how much faith a person would have to have to leave one world behind for the promise of another.

The book is set up so the chapters alternate between Amy and Elder's points of view.  This is a great set up because these two are very different with Amy being born on Earth and Elder being born long after Amy.  

After the first chapter you get to see thing's from Elder's point of view. He's going to be the next leader of the ship Godspeed.  Godspeed is the ship that is taking the frozens (Amy and everyone else that was frozen) to the new earth like planet.

Eldest's point of view shows how homogeneous the culture on the ship has become.  They are governed by the will of Eldest, the oldest person on the ship.  His rules are absolute and there's not a lot of questioning going on anywhere.  Elder has a lot of curiosity though and this leads him to explore and ask questions that he might not have asked before.

Many people who we today might consider creative/normal are kept in a mental ward at the hospital.  They of course see nothing wrong with this, just thinking that they are crazy.  This small isolated society is changed when Amy is thawed out, almost dying in the process.

Seeing the ship through Amy's eyes is where the claustrophobia really settles in.  She realizes that the air she's breathing has been recycled for along time and the weather and sun are nothing like she's used to. Exploring and breaking all the rules are a major part that Amy plays. She and Elder slowly start to understand each other and figure out the mystery of who would want to see the frozen people dead.

There's a palpable sense of loss that the reader feels from Amy, who's lost everything including her parents.  I won't mention why but it's truly heartbreaking when they are opening trunks that were originally from Earth.  She grows throughout the story into a strong capable person realizing what she has to do to move forward.

Elder grows as a person and a leader as he starts to see Eldest for the charismatic despot that he really is.  He doubts himself and has more than one secret to hide but meeting Amy and exploring the ship are beneficial to his character.

There is not a love triangle to slog through in this story which is very nice. Elder's best friend Harley, a brilliant painter, knows all about Amy but only seems to like her as a friend.  He actually saves Amy at one point. This relationship was refreshing to read and Harley's story did have me tearing up at points.  Harley illustrates I think what many on the ship are feeling and may continue to feel in the future.

I did figure out who the bad guy was but I personally had no idea why they were doing what they did.  Then there are the people that like Doc are just doing their jobs and think one way is the only way.

Major mysteries and revelations are solved at the end of the story.  The ending is left ambiguous in some aspects because no one knows what the future of the ship will be.  I for one cannot wait for the next book.


  1. What a great review! I just finished this myself and felt similarly about this story (other than the beginning of the first chapter) Harley was definitely one of my favorite characters, and Doc too in a weird way was fascinating.

  2. Awesome! Can't wait to read it for myself because it sounds sooo good. And no love triangle=bonus.

  3. Definitely looking forward to reading this one, especially if there's no silly, forced love triangle to suffer through!

  4. @Happy Booker, thanks, glad you liked the review:)
    Yeah the characters in this book are complex and make you think, especially Harley and Doc. Being the only doctor for a whole ship would probably have anyone making some hard choices.

  5. @Aylee, @Kate, Yes, it is a very well written book that really pulls you in right from the first chapter.

    The no love triangle is refreshing because the main character isn't forever pining over what guy she should go out with, she's more worried about surviving. The only person that could be a part of a love triangle in the book just seems to connect with Amy as a friend because she reminds him of someone else.


Hi, let me know what you think. Hope you enjoy the blog, I love reading each and every comment. :)