From the Publisher
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2013:
"The fate of two worlds hangs in the balance in this unorthodox science-fiction thriller."
Booklist, June 1, 2013:
"The backstory, initially revealed through interspersed newspaper articles, presents the intriguing notion of memories as a kind of infection. The result is a delayed, but eventually worthwhile, payoff."
Library Media Connection:
"Enough intrigue to keep even a non-science fiction reader engaged.”
VOYA - Jonathan Ryder
Ana wakes up and finds herself on a mysterious planet, with no memory of how she got there, or even of who she is. A strange note informs her that her memory has been wiped out, and that her body has been trained for this mission, but only gives cryptic hints as to what that mission actually is. All she really knows is that she has twenty-eight hours to reach her destination (wherever that is) before the countdown ends, and something (she is not sure what) happens. As Ana begins her journey, she encounters three other teenagers who appear to be on the same mission, and at least one of whom has also lost his memories. The four of them must survive this alien landscape, battle the attacks of a monstrous worm, and discover the mysteries of this planet in the hopes of saving their own from the ravages of a bizarre illness. The story alternates between the narrative of Ana's adventure and various news reports that gradually fill the reader in on the larger story. The story is generally well paced, and should keep the attention of most readers. The characters are well drawn out, and seem realistic, even the reason for the teenagers being on a spaceflight is explained in a believable manner. The author does a good job of conveying Ana's bewilderment at her predicament, and leading the reader along as she explores her surroundings, discovers echoes of her lost memories, and probes the mysteries of this alien world. Astute readers may recognize hints of such diverse works as Dune and The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. The book deals with issues of amnesia, space travel, survival, teamwork, and puzzle solving. Younger teens looking for an entertaining science fiction adventure featuring a strong female lead should enjoy this. Reviewer: Jonathan Ryder
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Ana wakes up on a spaceship with no memory of who she is or why she is wearing a timer that is counting down. She finds a letter informing her that she is on the way to planet Paradox and has undergone surgical amnesia. She meets Todd, who tells her that the timer is how long they have to reach a safe colony and also claims to have had his memory wiped. They eventually meet Chen and Ysa, who have their memories. They know Ana, but refuse to tell her anything about her past. A giant worm with rows and rows of razor sharp teeth that stalks them through their expedition only exacerbates their treacherous journey. In addition to Ana's story, there is also a smattering of newspaper clippings that helps readers understand why Ana and the others have been sent to this planet. Through these pieces, they learn Earth is falling apart due to a virulent infection that starts by targeting difficult memories and spreads quickly. The story moves slowly at times, and many of the events are rushed. Parts of the plot aren't particularly strong, including a forced love story. Most of the characters seem more like caricatures than actual people, except for Ana.—Kristyn Dorfman, The Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, NY
The fate of two worlds hangs in the balance in this unorthodox science-fiction thriller. She wakes in restraints with no memory of where or even who she is. Learning her name is Ana from a name tag, she discovers a handwritten letter telling her that she's awakening from suspended animation in a rocket on a new planet, Paradox. She has a limited amount of time to get to a specific place on an electronic map, and she's also been provided supplies to get there. Hoping that answers to her missing memory lie at the intended destination, she sets out across a barren landscape only to be attacked by a giant, monstrous worm. Escaping it, she discovers Todd, who appears to have also come from the rocket, and before long, they meet Ysa and Chen. The group trek through dangers, but Ana is beset by memories of a very different life…and then she wakes again. The odd construction of Paquette's present-tense thriller can leave readers feeling as confused as the main character. The often slow-moving, descriptive main text is punctuated by news articles about the discovery of the planet and subsequent missions to it and by the off-puttingly melodramatic memories of an Earth scientist. The reveal is interesting if wholly unbelievable. The science behind this fiction is ludicrous, but patient fans of the genre may enjoy the twists. (Science fiction. 9-14)