A suspenseful novel about a young couple fighting for survival in the world of the future.
Carys and Max have only 90 minutes of oxygen left. They’re floating in space with no way of getting back to their damaged ship. But this isn’t the first challenge the two have faced. As they try to find a solution that will get them back to safety, they reflect on their past together. In the Utopian Europia they come from, citizens live their lives on eternal Rotation, spending three years at one posting and then moving on to the next "ever-changing, mixed communit[y]." Europia lives by an ethic of radical individualism. Every citizen acts always and only for himself or herself. But when Max meets Carys, he starts to question the rules he’s always supported—including the Couples Rule that requires citizens to wait until they’re at least 35 to form permanent relationships and start families. Questioning those rules sets Max and Carys on the path that eventually leads them to undertake their dangerous mission in space together. The ticking clock of their shrinking air supply adds suspense to at least half the narrative, and some readers will enjoy the swoon-y story of star-crossed first love. But this society’s need for, and enforcement of, the "Couples Rule" is inconsistently explained and ultimately unconvincing, and the characters never fully come alive on the page.
Readers who love doomed young lovers will find a pair of them here—but could find better examples of the genre elsewhere.