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)