Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Way Down Dark by J.P. Smythe

A spacecraft called Australia has been sent off from Earth because terrible things have happened to the world. Chan's ancestors left 400 years ago and have been flying adrift trying to find somewhere to land and make a new home.  The Australia has resources in limited supply after all this time but things are touch. Society has pretty well become a dog eat dog world and only the strong, the quick and the agile survive. Chan is the main character, and she is resourceful and very determined with a strong sense of social justice. There turns out to be a lot of secrets on the ship, secrets which change the course of their lives. 

In the opening scenes Chan's beloved mother dies and she is left to cope on her own.  Her independent and self-sufficient nature mean that she tries to keep her head down and lives quietly, and not get involved in violence and disorder. One day she makes an extraordinary discovery - a way to return the Australia to Earth. But she needs to be careful, there are too many people who might want to do her wrong and she doesn't want to die in the process of trying to save the ship. Good twists and turns and what I really liked were the descriptions of the structure of the ship. 

This book will appeal to students who have enjoyed Wool and Red Rising, it is gritty and different to lots of the current crop of young adult books.

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