Author: A.J. Paquette
Published by: Random House Books for Young Readers (2013)
My Rating: ✭✭✩✩✩
SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:
Ana wakes on a barren alien world. The instructions in her pocket tell her that she must survive a trek across Paradox in less than 28 hours.
Memory? Missing. . . .
Meeting up with three other teens—including one boy who seems strangely familiar—Ana treks across the inhospitable landscape, occasionally encountering odd twists of light that carry glimpses of people back on Earth. They’re fighting some sort of disease, and the situation is critical. What’s the connection between Ana’s mission and the crisis back on Earth, and how is she supposed to figure it out when she can’t remember anything?
While this sci-fi novel was very intriguing and well-written, I did not necessarily enjoy it, for I found it a bit strange for me. Maybe it’s because I’m just not a sci-fi person, but to me, this book was just kind of creepy. To make matters worse, it was written in present tense third person, which is probably the worst writing style to read that exists.
Plot: The mysteries were very compelling, though, and that’s mainly why I kept reading: to find out who Ana was and where she came from. There was some small reveals going on throughout the story to keep me reading without giving away anything, and I suppose the end regarding Ana’s past was satisfying. At any rate, it answered my questions.
Negatives: One problem I had with it was the way emotions were portrayed. I did not cry when Chet dies. I did not cry when Ysi dies. I did not even feel sad, because I barely even knew who they were despite the fact I’d had several chapters with them. There was no real connection to any of the characters excepting Ana, who was developed well enough that I did care somewhat what happened to her.
Writing/Ending: To me, the “big reveal” in the end was so downplayed that it didn’t really feel like a reveal at all. I wasn’t shocked or startled at all. Rather, combined with the rest of the story, it made sense and I felt like I shoudl’ve known it all along. It was kind of disappointing, though, and unrealistically written, too. And I really didn’t appreciate the way there are so many gory deaths in the book. Honestly, as a reader—and again, maybe only saying this cause I’m not a huge sci-fi fan—I feel it would have been such a better ending if they came back to a happy earth, rather than an earth that was dying. I still don’t quite understand why they had to go on this “planet” to save earth. It didn’t all add up. And the romance subplot was totally unnecessary.
All in all, I guess it was an okay read. If you like the sci-fi genre, you’ll probably love this book. However for me, it was just too strange. 2.5 stars.