Wow. I didn’t know what to expect from this novel, but I was absolutely blown away by it! This is YA sci-fi, but it’s a different twist that I had prepared myself for, and I absolutely loved it!
Characters: The entire novel is told in first person from Riley’s perspective. Usually, I’m not a huge fan of one person being the only narrator, but it worked perfectly in this book. Riley was written so well – he thought and acted like a kid. That can be really hard to nail down, but everything he did just seemed so fitting and accurate. He wasn’t super smart or way too mature; he made silly mistakes and did expected kid-like things. So well-written. And he was just such a sweetheart, too! I loved his arc, but it was so sad to watch him learn about his past. Then there was Grey, who was just such a great dad to Riley. I loved their close relationship, and while I didn’t agree with everything Grey did with Riley, it was clear Grey tried to take care of his son as well as he possibly could. And then there was Mina. My sweet Mina! She was so brave and kind and loving, and she was the exact person Grey and Riley needed in their lives. And for the others characters … Luca was such a good friend, and the rest of the church was so kind. Glenna and Thorne were … well, jerks, and since they were supposed to be, they adequately filled their rolls.
Setting/Writing Style/Plot: The setting was really interesting as a sci-fi novel. I have very little exposure to space stories, but I thought the author did an amazing job creating these other planets and different travel methods. But while it was obviously sci-fi, it also wasn’t overly confusing or too technical. And the writing style. Wow. It was just perfect for this story. It wasn’t distracting, and it flowed so well that I just got lost in the story. It wasn’t a chore to read -it was a joy to read! And the plot. At first, I wasn’t really sure where the story was going. The first half is a lot of day-in-the-life (which is super interesting on a different planet) and character development. Then things just speed to the end with all of the bombshells that are exposed about Riley’s past. That last part really just sealed the deal for me.
Theme: This was amazing. There were beautiful messages of sacrifice and love throughout, and Riley’s journey to the Lord was so wonderful. I also loved the pro-life aspect that was presented differently than most other pro-life books I’ve read. (view spoiler)[ Riley’s parents didn’t want him because he would have interrupted their careers, and therefore, they were willing to just send him away so he wouldn’t impede their lives. Yet Grey stepped in and sacrificed so much for Riley to save his life – because Riley, even though he might’ve had a physical flaw, was still worth so much. His life was incredibly precious. And I couldn’t help but think about the ending where Glenna tried to convince Riley to go to the medical facility -she used so many lies and deceit to convince him that was the right way. That coercion is a major tactic that is utilized to convince a woman to get an abortion, and that’s obviously horrendous! (hide spoiler)] So I loved this different way of presenting a pro-life theme, and there were so many touching moments throughout the entire story.
Overall: I loved this book. I’m pretty much convinced Angie Thompson can write in any genre, and I’d love it! An amazing read!
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher/author. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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