Full review of Project Emergence:
Young Adult Science Fiction
Available March 14th, 2017
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play Books | Indiebound
An ancient Hopi myth says people arrived on tiny silver pods that fell from the sky.
But the truth is far more terrifying.
Two-hundred fifty-eight teens are sent from a dying Earth to a terraformed Mars as part of the Emergence Program, mankind’s last hope before solar flares finish off their planet and species. Among the brave pioneers are sixteen-year-old Joey Westen and her twin brother, Jesse.
After only minutes in space, something triggers a total ship lock down.
With the help of their roommates, the Matsuda twins (notorious hackers and shady secret-keepers), Joey and Jesse stumble onto an extremist plot to sabotage the Emergence Program.
But Joey and Jesse didn’t travel to the deepest pits of space and leave their mother behind to be picked off in a high-tech tin can. They’ll lie, hack, and even kill to survive the voyage and make it to Mars.
The meat of my review:
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
I love Ms. Zakian’s work, that’s no secret, her Ashby Holler series is one of my all time favorite sets of books.
As for Project Emergence, even though it’s coming out after the Ashby series, I have a feeling it’s an earlier work. It isn’t as nuanced as her other books but that fits the story line quite well.
One of Ms. Zakian’s gifts in writing YA is that she writes teens like they really are. It’s not adult thought patterns put into supposedly teenaged heads like a lot of the YA on the market.
Project Emergence is an easy, fast read and I think it’s a great set-up story for what I feel will be a fascinating book two.
Unfortunately, I caught a number of editing errors, so feel it could’ve been edited more thoroughly, but that’s not on the author. No author can ever can catch everything in their own work, we become blind to our own words. Just part of the business of writing. You need external editors and Project Emergence needed one. Regardless of that, it’s quite a fun read with a light, enjoyable plot.
I most strongly identified with Sabrina in the book. The young adult characters are written in a way that evokes the feeling of being a youth, which is exactly what one wants when writing YA. I think teenagers and new adults are going to enjoy the story quite a bit.
The two different styles of voice in the book are each unique and well defined (Sabrina/Adult, the YA voices, all are exactly as they should be, and it’s a hard thing for an author to do, to have two such different voices in one book.)
The characters and world definitely have promise, and I look forward to book two.
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Jamie Zakian is a full-time writer who consumes the written word as equally as oxygen. Living in South Jersey with her husband and rowdy family, she enjoys farming, archery, and blazing new trails on her 4wd quad, when not writing of course. She aspires to one day write at least one novel in every genre of fiction.
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