4.2 5
by Amy Rose Capetta

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Alone was the note Cade knew best. It was the root of all her chords.

Seventeen-year-old Cade is a fierce survivor, solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar. Or so she thought. Her world shakes apart when a hologram named Mr. Niven tells her she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan.


Alone was the note Cade knew best. It was the root of all her chords.

Seventeen-year-old Cade is a fierce survivor, solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar. Or so she thought. Her world shakes apart when a hologram named Mr. Niven tells her she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan.
   Cade’s quest to locate Xan joins her with an array of outlaws—her first friends—on a galaxy-spanning adventure. And once Cade discovers the wild joy of real connection, there’s no turning back.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/16/2013
In this accomplished debut, the scattered remains of the human race live as second-class citizens on alien worlds, plagued by the “spacesick” that comes from space travel. Seventeen-year-old Cade survives on the desert planet Andana, contending with the “Noise,” a constant jumble of sound in her head. Playing guitar for the spacesicks who love her music both makes her a living and keeps her sane. One night the Noise stops, and the hologram of a dead man appears to tell her why—Cade is the product of an experiment and has been entangled on a quantum level since babyhood with a boy named Xan. Xan is being held captive in Hades, an area of space infested with black holes, and to find him, Cade joins forces with a human smuggler, an alien captain, and his sentient ship. Capetta has a muscular writing style that embodies both Cade’s sensitivity to the world around her—essential for the artist she is—and the mental shields she creates to protect herself from the brutality of that world. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"[An] accomplished debut."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Rock and roll crashes head-on into sci-fi in this outing from debut author Capetta. . . Raucous, fun, and futuristic, this should appeal to fans of Antony John's Five Flavors of Dumb and R. J. Anderson's Ultraviolet."

"This is an accomplished debut, an intriguing and thought-provoking space adventure that will hopefully lead to a sequel."

"A rollicking space adventure perfect for fans of the cult classic TV show Firefly."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

VOYA - Bonnie Kunzel
In this challenging work of science fiction, each chapter begins with a quantum physics definition, referring to seventeen-year-old Cade, a talented musician who is a solo act until a hologram of a scientist appears to her with a life-altering message. She is not alone; as an infant she was entangled by a group of scientists with a male infant. The two were then separated. Cade was raised in an orphanage, while Xan was kept as an experimental subject. The intensity of her quantum connection to Xan, suddenly activated, makes it imperative that Cade get off the planet and find him. Enter Lee, a Human Express smuggler, who takes Cade with her in exchange for Cade's help at stops along the way. Their mode of transportation is a living spaceship, piloted by a humanoid male and carrying an alien passenger whose ability to manipulate dark energy is first a threat and then her salvation. When a human pilot joins them, it is his bout with spacesickness that opens Cade's eyes to the power that she can wield with her music and her quantum connection. Unfortunately, the Unmakers, the scientists holding Xan captive, also know of her newfound ability and are determined to keep her from exercising it, both in rescuing Xan and healing the spacesickness that has kept the human race scattered and planet bound since the destruction of Earth. But Cade is no longer alone; she has an alternative family ready and willing to come to her rescue. This is an accomplished debut, an intriguing and thought-provoking space adventure that will hopefully lead to a sequel. Reviewer: Bonnie Kunzel
Children's Literature - Carolyn Williams
Cade is a human teenage girl living on the planet Andana, with both other humans and a mixture of aliens and creatures from outer space. Living on her own for as long as she can remember, Cade has only one possession that she truly values: her guitar. Playing her guitar helps her block out the Noise, a constant sound filling her head. This is her normal routine until she is contacted by a hologram, informing her of the truth of her past and her connection to another human, Xan. Xan, who is in trouble, and Cade feels that it is her responsibility to step in. Having been alone her whole life, the adventure to find Xan and unravel her past teaches Cade the importance of friendships, trust, and value of having others you can rely on. Not one to give up easily, Cade relies on her own instinct and help from her new friends to save herself from danger. Capetta does a great job creating this story, and it will leave the reader asking for more. Despite her unusual surroundings, Cade is a relatable seventeen-year-old girl, and experiences the pressures and desires of many teens today. Skillfully constructed, this unusual science fiction novel will entertain readers. Reviewer: Carolyn Williams; Ages 14 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Cade lives in a world where humans are second-class citizens. Without a home planet, and unable to stop from falling into a detached sensory limbo called "spacesick," people are at the mercy of the galaxy's many other intelligent alien races. The teen protagonist is a tough loner, making a living on the fringes of a desert economy by playing club sets on her guitar. Her music is also the only thing that helps with the static in her head. She is unprepared for the day that the Noise finally quiets, and a mysterious holographic scientist reveals that she is an experiment, and has become entangled—or inexorably intertwined at the particle level—with a boy named Xan, who is in danger halfway across the known universe. Cade sets out on a quest to find him and makes a few friends along the way. Capetta's writing is jarringly uneven. It's only when the musician gets to know her fellow travelers that the novel becomes more engrossing and easier to follow. The multidimensional secondary characters are the book's strongest elements, while the premise that space is unkind to the human race is believable. Cade and the absent Xan are annoyingly Special with a capital S, and there are plot and setting holes aplenty. However, the intriguing twists will keep readers anxiously waiting for the sequel.—Katya Schapiro, Brooklyn Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
The slow pace of a teen's attempt to locate the boy that scientists cognitively linked to her in infancy makes this science-fiction/adventure tale more plodding than thrilling. Cadence suffers from a debilitating mental static that abates only during her raucous electric-guitar solos. After a performance, a holographic scientist reveals that Cade's music has reopened her repressed connection to Xan. The connection alleviates the Noise, but it also places Xan in grave danger from the Unmakers. Joining forces with a band of space outlaws and using the Xan connection for guidance, Cade attempts to rescue Xan from Hades, an area of space littered with black holes. On the journey, Cade learns that she may hold the key that will cure humans from the mentally incapacitating spacesickness that has plagued them since Earth's destruction years earlier. Cade's evolution from a loner to a friend is predictable, though her nonverbal connection with Renna, the living spaceship, is somewhat more inventive. However, Cade rarely interacts with additional creatures that are dramatically nonhuman, a missed opportunity considering the futuristic space setting. The largely unremarkable prose becomes more spirited during the descriptions of Cade's musical talents. Though not especially thrilling or fresh, this far-future space adventure might appeal to readers looking more for an emotional journey than for a technical science-fiction yarn. (Science fiction. 14-18)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Amy Rose Capetta's Entangled Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
HL620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1 

PURESTATE  A quantum system that cannot be described as a mixture of any others
   Saturday night, and Cade was headed to the one place on Andana that she didn’t hate. The one place where she could be around other humans and almost stand it.
   First she had to put on the right armor: black skirt, black gloves. Spiked her lashes with a bit of black market mascara, checked the effect in a broken-tipped triangle of mirror. Added two matching oil slicks of eyeliner. Grabbed her guitar.
   Slapped and echoed up the metal ladder, out of her glorified cement bunker, into the empty-stomach rattle of the desert.
   Her footprints crumbled in the sand as soon as she shifted her weight. Each breath was dust and dust and air—in that order. Each breath made her lungs curl into fists, ready to fight their way back to some blinked-out mother planet—a place she would never see because it didn’t exist.
   Cade swung her guitar case over the line that meant the
end of the Andanan deserts and the beginning of Voidvil. It was a real line—dunes on one side, and, on the other, buildings that shot like dark fingers out of the sand.
   Cade didn’t love the deserts of Andana. But she wanted to peel off her own skin and give it a firm shake when she thought about living in Voidvil. It was a human town—really a human trap—a place where people piled on top of each other deep and high in apartment towers crusted with the black of fire escapes.
   On the bubbled-tar sidewalks at the edge of town, men and women stared at Cade and her guitar case. Smiles crawled onto their faces. The closer she got to the center of town, the louder the voices grew, the closer skins got to each other, got to her, sweating to close the in-between inch. The lips here smiled too, but the eyes were empty, glassed-and-gone with spacesick.
   Cade didn’t have spacesick.
   She had something worse than that.
   Her destination sat deep in the ground, a blister under nine stories of pressing, smelling, never-stopping human. Cade dropped down a corkscrew of stairs into the wet-stone smell of Club V.
   The room wasn’t much when she looked at it. A small stage, set back and painted the shiny black of an insect shell. The space was good for a crowd, but half-crammed with a glass bar that Cade wasn’t old enough to drink at. Four laws governed the humans on Andana and this, of course, was one 
of them. Not that she cared. She wasn’t there to fuzz herself. Or fade out. Or meet people, even.
   Or meet people, ever.
   “You’re late,” said the owner, a nonhuman who liked to tell humans that his name was Mr. Smithjoneswhite. He held a drink, something amberish on the rocks, with one of his long arms. He had six of them, and two legs, spanning out from a central nervous system that was actually central. He could regrow a limb if he had to, in a process that was filled with pus and fascination. Handy in bar fights, too.
   “You’re late,” he said again, and Cade wondered if he was trying to start a bar fight, right now, with her.
   “I don’t go on for two hours.”
   “Be on stage,” he said. “On time.” His accent was thick, like he was slurping the words off a plate. Cade could speak passable Andanan, but he insisted on English. Didn’t want her mangling the mother tongue.
   “It’s the setup,” he said, waving one limb at the stage. “Isn’t it? It’s taking you too long. Too much time staring at yourself in the mirror.” It was a low and unoriginal punch. Humans were the only species that used mirrors. Other species knew what they looked like without a bit of glass-and-backing, or had gone past a looks-based understanding of each other.
   “Too good to make a bit of talk with me, little girl?” Mr. Smithjoneswhite asked, rattling his slow-melt ice at her.
   Cade put her tongue between her teeth, to keep herself from grinding them to white dust.
   “Just make sure I get paid.”
   She shouldn’t have come back without seeing the money from last week. Of the four laws that Cade and all the humans on Andana had to live with, the first one declared that they weren’t cleared for work. Too weak. Not built for the climate here, and definitely not built for space. So they bartered and black-marketed. It was clear that Cade had a talent, so of course someone like Mr. Smithjoneswhite was willing to step in, fill out the official forms, shuffle a few coins into her hand at the end of the night. But last week had been two sets, three encores, shameless cheering, no coin. And she slithered back. It was a sour move, because it showed Mr. Smithjoneswhite how much she needed this place, needed it more than the money.
   “I’ll see you get paid,” he said. “From the drink sales tonight.”
   Cade looked up into his face—a blur of features, like it had been stamped by someone with a shaky wrist. “Right,” she said. “For both weeks.”
   He tipped the end of his two upper limbs, his version of a nod. Cade swept past, and kept up the stomping and scowling. But for the first time in seven days, she felt something other than pissed off.
   Because Cade was at the club for the same reason as every other Saturday. She would wait out the amateur screechgasm of the opening acts, bits of foam tucked into her ears as in- surance against awfulness. She would take the stage, set up her amps and pedals, and give a tender squeeze to the pegs on the neck of her impossible, unscratched, cherry red guitar. The color of a fruit no one had eaten in centuries, and still, it looked delicious.
   Plug in.
   Turn the volume up. up. up.
   Drown the unbelievable noise that crashed through her head.
   The Noise was the barrier, the thing that kept Cade from living with other humans. They made so much scurrying, screeching, nattering sound, and when that hit the Noise, pressure changed, and she was sure her brain would start leaking out through her nose.
   Cade kicked the metal skeleton of a chair to an isolated backstage spot and sank her head between her hands.
   She knew there must have been a time before the Noise, but it was roped off, along with a few glaring, all-white memories of her most primitive years. People in white. White rooms. White lights, clean and sharp as a seven-blade knife. Cade wanted to look at those memories but she didn’t have clearance, even inside her own head. She was stuck with the years of less-than-life that had passed since she’d been dropped at the Parentless Center on Andana.
   And she was stuck with the Noise. It wasn’t a clear stream of words or music or even random screeches of sound. It was those things and more—unclear, unwashed, unbearable. There were different strands of it. Frequencies. Sometimes she could pick them out, sometimes she had to cave and crumble.

   Cade was a smashed radio, all the stations of the universe pouring in.
   The opening acts—Andanans on sand-skin drums, a band with four lead singers, a lone man on a battered trumpet—came and went. Cade set up the stage in record time, feeling the shift of muscles under skin. She never needed help with even the heaviest of her amps, and she never felt tired, and she never got sick. Two girls even younger than Cade, dressed in some kind of plastic strings and spacetrash, stood at the corner of the stage and whisper-shouted about it—a favorite snatch of gossip at Club V.
   “She’s not human, not all human.”
   “Some Hatchum in her bloodline, you think?”
   “She doesn’t have the double pupils. Or the orbital. Anyway, they don’t snug humans.”
   “Something snugged something to make her.” “Yeah, but what?”
   Cade made a note: Play an ear-obliterating chord in their faces.
   She stood in the center of  the  stage  and  held  Cherry-Red—just held her, the weight welcome and sinking. The different colors of the lights warmed into her. Blue on her right side, red on her left, a whole row of colors pressed up hot, breaking over her back. It was enough to convince her that all lights should have color. Not the dark nothing of space, or the bright nothing of the desert sun.
   Cade fiddled with the strings until her fingertips were satisfied. If they fit just right, she could play harder and faster than anyone in Voidvil. And when she did that, the Noise retreated—if only a little bit. Last Saturday night, she’d been onstage and she was sure that for a moment she’d felt the Noise flicker. When she tried to play the same song at home, recreate the conditions, the static in her head had blasted on.
   But another flicker? That was something to look forward to. The crowd was bigger than last week, splitting the seams of the room. People spilled over the borders of each other—arms overlapping, backs pressed to chests. The crowd was a creature of its own, with a long tail stretched up the stairs. And when Cade raised her pick, not even in a brass way, the creature went quiet, and held its breath.
   Cade bit into the first chord.
   The song chose itself. A wild, cat-scratch number that yowled when she added distortion. Within a few minutes, it gave way to something else—driving, drumming, a pop of knuckles against steel. Cade never planned sets. That made it easier for her to sneak up on the Noise, overwhelm it. But it gave her no ground tonight. When she dialed volumes up, the Noise dialed itself up. When she strung notes into melodies, the Noise melted into chaos.
   Cade looked up from the snarl of her fingers on frets and distracted herself with the crowd.
   The ones closest to the stage had spacesick. They loved to dance, a spastic dance that involved half-snugging your neighbor in public. The spacesicks that touched each other the most, without even seeming to notice it, were the farthest gone. Cade wondered how long it had taken—how many months, years, of exposure to the dead black of space—to make them like that. She looked over their heads, into the safe middle.
   But she snagged on someone in the second row, a man wearing a lab coat. Human, from the looks of him. Of course, humans weren’t cleared for labwork on Andana. The man’s eyes—clear, no glass—scanned her up and down.
   Cade slammed into another song. Verse-chorus-verse. Comfort food. It was the kind of tune that raised its middle finger to the Noise, slapped order thick and sweet on top of chaos. But then she got to the bridge—and Cade was sour at getting over bridges. She couldn’t see the other side, never reached the shore. When the bridge crumbled, the Noise was waiting.
   Cade grabbed the audience and dragged it down with her. She filled them with strange intervals, waves of feedback, tones that picked out other tones so high they could only be felt in the drone of the air, so low they foamed up through the floorboards. She gave people the Noise, thick as black market coffee. Unfiltered.
   And she got loud. So loud that there was no room in her head, her body, the club, the planet, all of space.
   She’d reached the part of the set when the crowd had the annoying tendency to fall in love with her. She could see it happening. Hands went loose, bodies fell into the troughs after notes,  crashed  into  the  new  ones.  Talk  died  out  and cheers evolved, strange and throaty. Some of the glass went out of the spacesicks’ eyes, but Cade didn’t trust it to stay gone—the longer a person had the sickness, the thicker and more constant the film. The people in the front row glassed over one by one, then reached up weedy arms to touch her. Mr. Smithjoneswhite didn’t care as long as no one rushed the stage.
   Cade knew this had nothing to do with her. People didn’t want her. They wanted the music, this string of notes that kept them beating in time with something other than themselves, in touch with something more than themselves. Cade wanted that, too. It was the only thing she and these slummers had in common.
   The last chorus trickled out, weak. Cade wanted to play harder, faster, louder—but she would get one note away from hitting a stride and he would be there again, looking up at her, pale and patient. Lab coat.
   Cade wondered if he was just another one of her looped-out admirers. But he didn’t have the look. He was calm and at least halfway to old—with eyes that rarely seemed to blink. Like they had to be reminded to do it, for appearances.
   He stared on and on, his eyes insisting on some kind of connection. But Cade was connected to no one, and the few people who had pretended to care about her were useless. At best. Cade sliced one of her meanest looks at lab coat, one of her very best back-offs. Then she stared at the bar, at the stairs, at the walls, but the white of his coat was always there, catching the corner of her eye.
   Cade stirred things up again, built a new and terrible song. The song to demolish all songs, to smash the Noise, to put an end to the horrible world in her head. She crested to the top of it, reached her fingers for the next note, felt the strings close around the trenches she dug, over and over, into her skin.
   And then.
   Dark. Quiet. Hush.
   The Noise blinked off.

Meet the Author

Amy Rose Capetta holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has a particle-level love of mind-bending science and all sorts of music. She adores her small patch of universe, but also looks intently at the stars. Entangled is her first book.

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Entangled 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing sci-fi adventure with a nice theory about music behind it. Cade is unique - she lives in a world filled with static, and only the right kind of music from her guitar can make it fade for a little while. Then one day she seems to break through and it all goes away - but a strange man shows up with a bit of a history lesson for her. The history of her life. And it isn't anything like what she thought. She is one of a pair of babies - bonded in a strange new molecular way called entanglement. And her pair, Xan, is out there somewhere and she needs to find him before he is killed by the un-makers. The un-makers are a strange new race that Cade has never seen before, and they are after her. Her only hope is to trust in a strange group of new friends. These new friends were amazingly written. They had such unique personalities and ways of looking at life. I loved how even the spaceship was portrayed - she was great! Their search for Xan leads to several little side adventures and new information about Cade's past. Each step closer, Cade manages to somehow unlock strange abilities that no one really knows how to control. The ending was an odd mixture of sadness and hope. At one point in time, I thought this was going to be a tragedy, but the author managed to miraculously turn it around just in time. Not everyone comes out at the end unscathed, but their world is not a much better place because of what they've done. *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
As if being a teen doesn’t have enough stress, try it when you are alone in a dystopian world, hearing noises and voices in your head and discovering somewhere out in the universe, you are entangled with another being. Amy Rose Capetta’s Entangled is a new twist in the YA Dystopian/Sci-fi world with a colorful cast of characters that add to the intrigue of Cade’s quest. Her ability to build Cade's world and her character's feelings goes far to make Entangled an engaging read! Entangled is the story of a young girl who learns to accept others into her world and trust in their friendship as she begins to discover who she is and her true purpose in life. One constant in Cade’s life was music with her guitar, so expect many musical musings from her, further developing her character as lonely, alone and isolated, making her transformation all that more impressive. It appears the important note is the journey, not the final destination, making a perfect set up for a sequel and more information on the mysterious Xan. An ARC edition was provided by NetGalley and HMH Books for Young Readers in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
edengrey More than 1 year ago
This is exactly what I’ve been wanting from YA Science Fiction. With a deliciously unique flavor and a fantastically written narrative, ENTANGLED is setting the bar high for teen sci-fi. What I loved: Cade. She is such a fascinating protagonist. From her troubled upbringing to living off her music, her rocker style to her no-nonsense attitude, Cade is one hell of a girl. She also has flaws, makes mistakes, and can’t make up her mind. Despite Cade being a super-special human with super-special abilities she isn’t annoying, whiny, or entitled. Her quirky voice, interesting slang, and authentic outlook on life kept me turning the pages. I also loved: The romance. Or should I say, lack thereof? Don’t get me wrong, there is romance in this story. It is tertiary to the two more important plot points – Cade finding and rescuing Xan, and Cade’s own journey of self-discovery. The romance is extra. It’s delightful, and a little weird, and completely tantalizing, but it’s not that big of a deal. And I really respect that in a YA novel. And even more love for: The sci-fi elements! Quantum mechanics can often seem wonky or cliched in fiction, but it was not that way here. Big, fancy, sciency words weren’t just thrown around to sound cool – the author knows what she’s doing. Spaceships and aliens, quantum entanglement and telepathy, holograms and spacesickness. The science in this fiction is delightful. I wanted more: Everything! Which I shall receive in the upcoming sequel. Recommended: Highly! To all fans of science fiction and fantasy, aliens and spaceships, music and friendship.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good thing e books arent sold by covers this is a mish mosh middle school sci-fan to avoid