Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 4.5 stars (I really like it and it's relevant. Pretty neat.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Page Count: 307 p.
The Empyrean is flying through space on its way to New Earth. The twin ship New Horizon is also on the same path. When trouble erupts on the New Horizon however, the trouble comes to the Empyrean's front door. Kieran is the Empyrean captain's favorite and is all set to marry Waverly. When chaos engulfs the ship though, they are separated and forced to fight for their own survival. They don't know if they will ever see each other or their parents again. They have to rely on their instincts of what's right, especially since they don't know who is friend and who is foe.
This was a very intense read. I liked all the excitement and chaos that surrounded the characters. Once again we were brought to a world that is housed within a spaceship. Imagine never seeing a sunset, or feeling the wind, or seeing a vast landscape before you. The crew on these ships are forty plus years into their voyage to New Earth. The kids on the ship have no real idea what happened on Earth that made them have to leave for something new. All they know is that it had to have been really bad. Everything is shrouded in mystery. I like that element, how little the reader and the characters get to know. It's also very interesting the heightened anxiety of not knowing who is trustworthy or who is telling the truth. One thing I did find hard was keeping the characters straight. I feel like we were introduced to them too quickly, and then didn't spend enough time with them to sort them out. By the end I still struggled between Sarah and Samantha. They were different characters, but maybe it was intentional giving them similar names. Maybe they didn't have to be two separate characters. In the beginning I struggled with Waverly's name. It's a nice name, but unisex, so I kept having to think about who she was. I enjoyed that the novel was split into two viewpoints, even though it was third person. It was interesting to see everything that was going on, even when the characters were split up. The religious aspects of this novel were a bit over the top. It seemed that the author was conveying a strong religious message, while also portraying it as an evil thing. I will be interested to see where Amy Kathleen Ryan takes it in the next novel. I wish the epilogue hadn't happened though, it felt like the beginning of the next book, rather than an ending to this one. I am very eager to read the next installment. If you like book like Across the Universe and Ender's Game with a dash of Lord of the Flies thrown in, make sure you check this one out.
"The other ship hung in the sky like a pendant, silver in the ether light cast by the nebula."
"Her leg exploded into shards of agony, and she fell down with an enraged scream."