Release Date: 16/08/12
A sensational YA science fiction debut from an exciting new British author. Jarra is stuck on Earth while the rest of humanity portals around the universe. But can she prove to the norms that she's more than just an Earth Girl? 2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can't travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She's an 'ape', a 'throwback', but this is one ape girl who won't give in. Jarra invents a fake background for herself -- as a normal child of Military parents -- and joins a class of norms that is on Earth to excavate the ruins of the old cities. When an ancient skyscraper collapses, burying another research team, Jarra's role in their rescue puts her in the spotlight. No hiding at back of class now. To make life more complicated, she finds herself falling in love with one of her classmates -- a norm from another planet. Somehow, she has to keep the deception going. A freak solar storm strikes the atmosphere, and the class is ordered to portal off-world for safety -- no problem for a real child of military parents, but fatal for Jarra. The storm is so bad that the crews of the orbiting solar arrays have to escape to planet below: the first landing from space in 600 years. And one is on collision course with their shelter.
Science Fiction is one of those genres that has so much scope, huge opportunities and for the right author, the chance to present something not only dazzling but an idea that stands on its own feet that embeds itself into the readers psyche. What this book by Janet Edwards brings to the table is a story of strength of character, of wits and of course love as the tale wends its way into an almost apocalyptic world where the Earth has been left by mankind as home to few who are looked after by the planets and sectors of mankinds expansion into the stars.
Its cleverly written from the point of view of the lead protagonist who is not only smart but savvy, has a clear idea where she wants to go and do which when backed by her drive really works well as a way into the tale for the reader. Back this up with a whole host of supporting cast alongside an almost uncanny ability to give the reader what they want and all in it’s a tale that works well from start to finish for me. Great stuff all in and I can’t wait to see what Janet comes up with next.