This dystopian sci-fi novel grabs you with its future imaginative thinking, its smart young heroes and heroines, as well as plot twists you don’t see coming. Three ships have set out from Earth to space in an over-century trek to a planet that seems likely to be able to sustain human life. They’ve left in frustration in seeing AI taking over human free will, and vow to have no AI aboard their ships. Instead, they rely on biotech enhancements that enable them to directly access the onboard computers and communicate with each other. As they approach the new planet and what has been dubbed “Braking Day” to slow the ships into that planet’s orbit, all sorts of ideological factions have broken out. There’s the imperious officer class and resentful crew they order around, many of the latter who want all social structures disbanded planet-side. There’s those who having grown up in space dread the prospect of being stranded on one planet. And there’s a rebellion group who has started terrorist actions to prevent Braking Day as they do not want humanity destroying whatever life already exists there.
In the meantime, ship engineer in training Ravi MacLeod has been seeing a girl who seems more of a ghost and that has him questioning his sanity. This girl harkens both mystery and danger, as Ravi and his brilliant, rebellious cousin Boz try to figure out what’s going on. And what’s going on makes for seismic revelations.
Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced reader’s copy.