How do you measure the value of a human life? In the immediate aftermath of an apocalyptic disaster, Denise struggles to save her family. When she stumbles across a generation ship preparing to colonize space, Denise thinks she's finally found a way to survive. However, the ship will only make room for people they deem valuable. Can an autistic teen convince them to make room for herself, her addict mother, and her absent sister? Flowing seamlessly from intense action scenes to thought-provoking emotional drama, this well-written and perfectly paced novel is sure to keep you riveted.
This book will certainly make my Staff Top Five for 2016! Recommended By Carrie L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A thrilling, thought-provoking novel from one of young-adult literature’s boldest new talents.
January 29, 2035. That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time. A last-minute meeting leads them to something better than a temporary shelter—a generation ship, scheduled to leave Earth behind to colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But everyone on the ship has been chosen because of their usefulness. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister? When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?
"This novel offers an edge-of-your-seat survival plot and a compelling narrative. It subtly raises questions about the value of a human life without didacticism or easy answers, and the diverse cast, including a biracial heroine and characters of various races, religions, and sexualities, gives the novel real-world authenticity and impact. Duyvis deftly balances broader social elements with a powerful family story…A worthy readalike for North’s Starglass, this near-future scifi will gain fans amongst those who want a story that is simultaneously heartbreaking and thought-provoking." BCCB (Starred Review)
"Denise’s fear is palpable throughout, which helps to push this sci-fi novel into thriller territory... Duyvis’ attention to detail and strong descriptions will recommend this to fans of the genre." Booklist
"...what makes this a winner is the nerve-racking adventure. Life-affirming science fiction with spaceships, optimism in the apocalypse, and a diverse cast that reflects the real world." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Readers are immersed in the tics and tactile aspects of Denise's condition as Duyvis (Otherbound) skillfully incorporates an exploration of complex mental conditions, addiction, and gender identity into her narrative. It's a riveting apocalyptic thriller with substantial depth." Publishers Weekly
"Insightful, suspenseful, and unsettling in its plausibility, this novel is sure to stick with readers long after the last page has been turned. VERDICT A high level of believability and excellent writing make this diverse apocalyptic novel a recommended selection for any young adult collection." School Library Journal (Starred Review)
About the Author
Corinne Duyvis is a novelist and short story writer and an editor of the website Disability in Kidlit. She’s a graduate of the Clarion West writer’s workshop and lives in Amsterdam. Her first novel, Otherbound, received four starred reviews, and Horn Book called it "a humdinger of an adventure that contains the agony of loyalty, the allure of magic, and, most gratifyingly, the element of surprise."