PARADOX by A.J. Paquette


Age Range: 9 - 14
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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)

Pub Date: June 25th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-375-86962-4
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2013


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