We’ve finally destroyed the Earth, and the international space agencies have declared that our only hope is escape to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. An international draft has been declared to decide who will man the first mission to Europa, who will terraform the planet so it is habitable, and who will start the first colony on a foreign surface.
Leo is Roman. Most of Italy is underwater now, including his family. He’s made his living by scavenging, selling, and diving for valuables. Before the floods Leo was a championship swimmer, which makes him a prime candidate for the underwater specialist on this mission. Naomi is an Arab-American and a scientist at heart. For her whole life, all she’s wanted is to find a cure for her brother Sam. But it’s her expertise at communications that brings her into the draft.
This book was definitely a worthy premise, but it could’ve been handled better. There was a lot going on in a world that very much tried to act as if it were one of those “20 minutes in the future,” kind of novels. We were tackling issues of colonialism, climate change, bioethics, corruption, and advanced technology. With all of that packed in, it’s understandable why a lot of it fell flat.
We know almost from the beginning that there is likely intelligent life on Europa. Naomi thinks that the leaders of the mission also know that, that they plan on wiping out that life to make room for the humans. The view of this issue is made to seem much simpler than it actually is. Naomi wants to call the mission off in terms of safety of for the Final Six, others want it called off for the sake of anti-imperialism, and still others try to cover it up because it’s the only hope left for the human race. In reality, this is a
Leo & Naomi develop a connection. They come from vastly different backgrounds and have very different reasons for being at the training center, and I’m genuinely unsure why they go together. But Leo follows Naomi’s lead during much of the book, and Naomi falls for the goofy Roman boy. I’m interested to find out what Beckett’s deal is. He’s the nephew of the President, he’s a dick, and I’m unsure what his motivations for his behaviors are. Over all, a very strange character.
I guess, that’s how I’m feeling overall: unsure. There are a lot of questions left unanswered, and the pace of the novel is manufactured to go as quickly as possible without answering any of them. I’m sure it was meant to make things more interesting, but it was just frustrating. It left me underwhelmed, though I’m looking forward to see where the sequel goes.