Popsugar Reading Challenge: Book 45

Prompt: A book set in space

I’ve made the mistake of leaving my least appealing prompts until lastvthis year. I normally avoid spacey books, but I received This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson in the December 2018 Book Box Club and it’s sat on my TBR shelf all since.

What’s it about?

Lindley Hamilton becomes the de facto leader of the space station Lusca after the death of her mother. All of the first generation crew members have been quickly wiped out after a deadly virus is brought on to the ship with a supply delivery.

The second generation appear to be immune and there are now just 85 children on board. Lindley and her tight circle of the oldest and most experienced teens take on board the care of the younger crew, running the ship, and working out how to make contact with Earth.

Still coping with the loss of their parents, the sudden death of one of the children and the threat of another outbreak of a mutated virus threaten everyone’s survival and Lindley has to rise to the challenges she faces.

What I think:

Despite being set on a space station, this isn’t actually too spacey! Even though it’s set at some point in the future when human are looking to inhabit other planets there are no descriptions of strange planets, aliens, invasions and all of the things I associate with classic sci-fi. Even the deadly virus is ebola-esque enough for the average reader to relate to the speed and panic the virus and possible mutation causes.

Lindley takes on the mantle of leadership with courage and humility. She assembles a team of friends around her who all have skills that compliment each other. She learns to trust her instincts and to put the greater good first. She is a character who learns and evolves. She is conflicted and takes some wrong turns on the way to discovering what kind of leader she will be. It reminds the reader that these are teenagers with very adult responsibilities.

As Lindley pieces together the truth about the second generation deaths (no spoilers, I promise!) she learns who she can trust and discovered her inner strength. She’s a likeable, well-rounded hero and by far the most appealing character in the book.

I must admit that I enjoyed This Splintered Silence much more than I anticipated. It wasn’t a book I would have chosen to read without this challenge but this is a book about relatable human struggles that just happens to be set in space.

Perhaps I should be more open-minded with some of my book choices in 2020…

You can check out the loveliness that is The Book Box Club here.

And head into space with the paperback of This Splintered Silence which is out this month at:

Waterstones: click here

Amazon.co.uk: click here

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