Monday, April 25, 2016
Seth's review of On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
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 near 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.
Then a last-minute encounter leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship that’s scheduled to leave Earth behind and colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But each passenger must have a practical skill to contribute. 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?
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads).
It seems no matter the book I read it all boils down to the main character is unusually self sufficient and in most cases perfectly able to handle situations thrown at them. This trope seems especially evident when reading my favorite genre of science fiction. Upon picking up On the Edge of Gone, I admittedly was expecting the same thing. Had I read the back cover I probably would have been pleasantly surprised, but I wanted to go in blind. At first, I didn't know what was going on in the head of the narrator, but it was made clear pretty early on that she has some form of autism. Which is admittedly a pretty broad diagnoses that isn't clarified much in the book.
Denise, the main character, has a pretty big issue outside of her control to handle. A problem most 'normal' people would have trouble dealing with. There is a comet coming to hit the Earth, beyond a doubt. Predictably, people freak out. The global economy stutters to a standstill. Gasoline is something people get robbed of constantly because none is being produced in significant quantities. Oh, and to make matters more complicated for Denise, she has a drug dependent mother. But wait, it gets more complicated when her transgendered brother is added in to the mix. So, let's recap. Drug dependent mother, transgendered brother, autism, and the apocalypse occurring. But it doesn't stop there. Her mother is also constantly late for everything, even the trip that Denise and her need to make to the comet impact survival shelter. Personally, were it me in her situation I would do like she does at times in the book and grab my knees and rock back and forth. So, Denise finally gets her mom out the door and on the way to the shelter entirely too late. On the way, they pass by two women on the side of the road. One who broke her leg, and the other who is trying to help her along. Denise wants to keep going, but her mom stops and they pick them up. This is where things get interesting. The two women aren't heading to a shelter, but a generation ship. They tell Denise and her mom to keep it quiet and they can stay up until they launch. So they continue on to the new shelter of the hidden ship and wait out the impact. What follows is a quite enjoyable read of the efforts and lengths a person will go to to ensure their own survival along with the survival of their family. I got the book and read it in one sitting, which I don't normally do much anymore (I blame the release of some aaa game titles recently). I recommend it to anyone looking for a new twist on some science fiction writing.
Seth gives On the Edge of Gone: 4/5.
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I received this ARC from the publisher, Amulet Books, in exchange for an honest review. Neither Seth nor I were compensated in any way for this review.