THE PIONEER by Bridget Tyler


Age Range: 12 - 18
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In Tyler’s exciting debut, space colonists discover they’re not alone after landing on a planet thought to be uninhabited.

Seventeen-year-old cadet pilot Joanna Watson, along with her parents, brother, Teddy, and sister, Beth, are part of the Galactic Frontier Project, preparing to set off for the Earth-like and, most importantly, uninhabited Tau Ceti e. After Teddy is killed in an accident that leaves Jo with nanomachines powering her heart, she can no longer fly. Soon after they arrive on Tau, Joanna and her friends, including love interest Jay Lim, are attacked by plantlike creatures who are at war with a humanoid race called the Sorrow. The powers that be, including Jo’s mom, were aware that Tau was inhabited, which flies in the face of everything they’ve been taught. Finding themselves in the middle of a brutal fight, and desperate to avoid the mistakes of the past, Jo and her friends must make hard decisions in the face of Earth’s possible demise. Tyler’s crowd-pleasing and lightning-paced cautionary tale beautifully captures the wonder of discovery while building plenty of suspense, and it’s easy to fall for the intrepid, pragmatic Jo, who narrates. It also has plenty to say about humanity’s impact on the environment without being preachy. Jo and her family are white, Jay is Korean-American, and diversity can be found throughout the supporting cast. A cliffhanger ending promises more to come.

A stellar adventure. (Science fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-265806-7
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2019


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