Waverly has lived on the life-giving space shuttle the Empyrean her entire life. Never having known Earth, she does know that she and her fellow passengers are destined to create a new home for humankind. She knows that it is her duty to get married, soon, and have babies so that their new Earth can be peopled. What Waverly isn’t expecting is for the Empyrean to be invaded, and, terrifyingly, she is separated from both her mother and her boyfriend, Kieran. Without adults to help them, both Waverly and Kieran are going to have to step up and figure out how not only to find each other again, but to lead their own peers in a race against time and space.
Lots of possibilities, this one — all the elements for an awesome book are present. Most of the book switches between two story lines, one of which is very Lord of the Flies-esque, and part of my problem was that I didn’t feel particularly close to any of the characters. I didn’t know Waverly enough to know if she was capable of the things she does, so that made me have a hard time believing it. I did appreciate the fact that she is a strong female character — but I can’t compare her to the Katniss of the first Hunger Games book because we don’t get to see enough of a character arc.
This isn’t to say that it’s a dull ride, because it’s not. It has its action-packed moments — there’s gore and violence and things to uncover. The plot is very intriguing and I was certainly engaged in the story — it’s just that there is so much telling and not showing, so much “science fiction” jargon and obvious happenings thrown into my face that I felt I was getting sold something that wasn’t completely authentic. There is also a religious element to it that sometimes grated on me — it’s hard for me to tell where Ryan is going to take that in the next book.
I feel I am being too hard on it. Maybe my expectations were too high. Chances are, if you like young adult science fiction and don’t mind it being pretty violent, this one will be fine for you.
Rated: Moderate for some pretty violent and upsetting moments, moderate and mild language use, and non-graphic teen sex