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4.2 7
by A. J. Paquette

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The Maze Runner meets Hatchet in this sci-fi adventure with a surprise twist ending that no one will see coming.
Survive one world. Save another.
Ana wakes on a barren alien world. The instructions in her pocket tell her that she must survive a trek across Paradox in less than 28 hours.


The Maze Runner meets Hatchet in this sci-fi adventure with a surprise twist ending that no one will see coming.
Survive one world. Save another.
Ana wakes on a barren alien world. The instructions in her pocket tell her that she must survive a trek across Paradox in less than 28 hours.
Mission? Check.
Weapons? Check.
Memory? Missing. . . .
Meeting up with three other teens—including one boy who seems strangely familiar—Ana treks across the inhospitable landscape, occasionally encountering odd twists of light that carry glimpses of people back on Earth. They’re fighting some sort of disease, and the situation is critical. What’s the connection between Ana’s mission and the crisis back on Earth, and how is she supposed to figure it out when she can’t remember anything?

Editorial Reviews

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
Kirkus Reviews
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)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

A. J. PAQUETTE is the author of the middle-grade novel Nowhere Girl, as well as several picture books for young readers. She is also a literary agent. She lives outside of Boston with her family and her very tall to-read pile. Find out more at AJPaquette.com.

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Paradox 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
Ana has awoken in a strange place. The only thing she knows is her name, which she discovered was pinned to her jumpsuit when she woke up, and directions. Experience. Discover. Survive. With those directions, she realizes that she has no memories, and has no idea why her jumpsuit contains knives and a pistol. With the touch of a button, a hatch opens up from the rocket she has been in and steps into a hostile planet. But she isn't the only living thing there. A mysterious creature that looks like a giant worm with a gaping mouth full of teeth is hunting something down, and by the looks of it, it seems to be hunting Ana and her newly discovered traveling companion, Todd. With a ticking clock, a crisis on Earth, and lives on the line, how is Ana supposed to save the world, and everybody she has come to love? This book is amazing! I couldn't relate to anyone in this book, which is a bit sad, but it didn't bother me too much. I think my favorite character is Ana, only because none of the other characters were described as good as her, which isn't a shock, considering the fact that the book is based on her. She just has this kinda air to her, you know, the whole, "I think rationally in extreme situations and I pull through pain." kinda attitude that I wish I had. The way that the conflict was built and how the trip was described was written nicely, and nothing felt out of place in the story. Paradox was written in third person, focusing entirely on Ana, which is ok, because her role in the story was the most interesting (insert a big fat "DUH!!" right here). The flow was ok, but it wasn't the best. It seemed a bit fast pace, but it was ok. I didn't mind too much. The writing style was very serious, as Ana is a very cut-and-dry person, but there were some nicer parts to the story. I recommend Paradox to teens ages 13-16. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was worth it fir a short read but it won't become a fav. Worth buying.
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
Paradox is a quick sci-fi fantasy read that readers of all ages may enjoy. The story is told in a simplistic, straightforward style. It doesn't delve much into who the characters are, only ever giving us the information we need to know. Initially, I didn't know what to think about the brevity of the writing. It seemed more like the kind of writing I'd expect from a children's chapter book, and this actually is a book that I'd recommend to middle-grade readers. The writing grew on me, however, and I ended up enjoying this book. I like how the writing reflects the blank slate that is Ana's mind because she doesn't have prior expectations of the world around her and doesn't have much to base her judgments upon. It also suits her character. Ana isn't one to think much before making decisions. She's your typical passionate, hot-headed teenager. There were times when I wanted to tell her to relax and follow Todd's lead (he's very calm and level-headed), but I do understand her anxiety. After all, she did wake up in a strange world with memories much less any idea about what she's doing there. Todd makes a great foil for Ana's character, and they make a good team on their trek in the strange world of Paradox. The other characters have their own unique personalities and stories that heighten the mystery of the plot. I especially appreciate how it is during Ana's experiences on Paradox while suffering from memory loss that she, and thus we the readers, learn more about herself than we would have had the weight of her prior experiences influenced her judgments. In a way, you could say that it is a sci-fi fantasy adventure at heart because the story focuses on the mission and not so much on character development, though Ana does show some signs of growth when she learns to accept her past and move towards the future. At the same time, it is because the plot is so simple that Ana's story carries so much weight.