Author: Alexandra Duncan
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, 2014.
Pages: 396 (ebook)
Source: Library ebook
I wanted to love this book. It's science fiction, it's a stand alone and not the "first in a trilogy," it talks about feminist issues, the author is a librarian. The ingredients were there for a truly great book. But, I didn't love it.
Ava is a young girl aboard a space ship that is both technologically advanced and socially primitive. Men are in control of the ship and given the responsibility of flying it and fixing it. Women exist to cook and clean for them and provide babies. It is a polygamist patriarchal society. Ava doesn't know any better because women are never allowed off the ship. When the ship docks at stations for supplies, only men are allowed to leave. The claim is that women's bodies cannot handle the gravity of the stations or Earth, but in reality it is another method men use to control women. If they don't see alternatives, they won't complain about how they are treated. Ava's father arranges Ava to be married to a man on another crewe ship. She has hope that it will be her childhood friend, Luck, and makes a terrible mistake based on that hope. When her father discovers what she has done, she is cast out. They intend on killing her but she is able to escape and make her way to Earth where she discovers a completely different way to live.
The book is very long and very dense and very slow. There is a lot of description and even the action seems somewhat drawn-out. I should have been outraged for Ava and invested in her journey, but I found myself not really caring all that much. I felt detached from her. I'm glad I stuck with it and it ended on a good strong girl-power note, but it didn't grab me as much as I had hoped.
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