*Chances this will contain (minor) spoilers*
I wanted to read this book because of the mix reviews it was getting and I wanted to get a clear satisfactory opinion of it on my own. This novel was co-written by an Aussie and an American. The american writer is from Washington, DC so I imagine when they were writing up the draft for this novel she provided the backdrop information on the multi-planetary corporation LaRoux Industries. Their business is terra-forming uninhabited planets for colonization and scientific exploration… but is operated by what feels like a business-sociopath. The Aussie, Amie Kaufman, providing the sci-fy aspects.
Overall I really liked this book, some topics of the book were only vaguely detailed which I took liberties of filling in the gap. The story just drops you off in this particular time frame with no real history or origin story to provide better understanding of their kooky society. I’ll try explain why, however! Some information is backed-up with reading a short story called This Night So Dark by the authors released for free to be read, book #1.5 you could say, that tells how Tarver Meredsen received his medal of honor. That’s not a spoiler, it’s all apart of the pre-text as to why his character is on the Icarus mingling among the “elite social” class to begin with.
How I herd this book being summarize was “like titanic, but in space…. then survival.” The only real comparison between the two is just the ship “sinking.” Otherwise Tarver and Lilac both prove to have the necessary survival skills to get off Icarus in the only escape pod able to deploy. I guess to create some sort of fun dialogue between the two initially they used their division of “society classes” since it’s their only familiarity on a planet that’s not so much familiar. Apart of the reason as to why I felt extremely freaked out at certain moments along their journey to the crashed ship was because I read it after a couple glasses of wine around 2 a.m., so I felt extra paranoid, in the dark. Regardless of the wine, these moments T&L had with these “whisperers” really had me feeling vulnerable and scared for what could happen to them. It’s not until closer to the end of the book that the whisperers were able to acknowledge them and assure them they meant no harm, even though they had many opportunities to do otherwise. I was along the mind frame they were being “killed with kindness.”
Space hyper-speed: While the characters in the book try to attempt explaining the ships ability to travel hyper-speed I’ve translated into terms I think better clarify whats being attempted. SO! Imagine time is a straight line, however hyper-speed requires the manipulation of folding the fabric of space (they call it rifts I believe) to cut down travel time between colonized planets that are millions or billions of light years away. How they created this technology isn’t explained fully is so were bypassing this origin story for the time being.
The planet which Tarver and Lilac crash onto was a terra-formed planet in the final stages of colonization yet left alone because of the scientific experiment it had been running commissioned by LaRoux Industry. The concept that this planet had an alternative energy source (life-related) which they were able to contain between the outpost station and the mirror moon creating this great energy, very unstable clearly, that can influences the atmosphere’s gravity and its strength. I believe they initially thought they could use this energy in conjunction with the mirrored moon as a way to improve hyper-space travel. Ever played Mario go-cart? when you drive your avatar over the arrows on the road it speeds up the cart significantly? So i imagine this is the type of concept/theory they were grasping for. The amount of energy a ship holding over 50,000 people to travel hyper-speed to planets millions of light-years away must be insurmountable, which is why LaRoux Industry attempted this research. In the ships case, it clips a little too close to the atmosphere (and gravity) of the planet because time is “folded” at this point this “friction” rips the ship apart. Like tectonic plates.
However from the information given in book #1.5 questions were being raised in terms of the safety of such a creation happening by the head scientist conduction the research. It’s insane to think a corporation has so much power that it has the ability to hide a planet! That’s why I think there’s more than one of these types of planets existing, hence the question marks scattered on the rough sketch.
Another really unspoken matter was just how much Lilac was able to hear and understand the whisperers were saying towards the end. Why she was targeted so heavily in comparison to Tarver? Might be because of how little emotional attachment she felt towards returning to her planet and father? The universe’s wealthiest and most powerful man. It’s the only way I can justify her actions and doing what she did, or else how would they have been able to destroy the blue energy source from behind the door in the communication building’s basement floor. Taking the whisperers out of limbo, didn’t they? confused.
I haven’t completed the series, so many of the incomplete answers to questions I have may still be answered in book #2 or #3 which are from alternative duo characters. Not from the ship, but the universe itself so most of my questions are more related to their universe and society. Overall I’d give this book an 8.5/10.
Last Note: This series might be converted into a television series. Not sure how that’ll work out.