Kit Franks has inherited a legacy of trouble from her terrorist mother in this companion to Inherit the Stars (2015).
Many lives were lost in the bombing Millie Oen masterminded in the capital city of the House of Galton, where video screens stream feeds 24/7—including recordings of her mother’s cryptic messages, hacked into the feed for the world to see. Though Kit tries to keep her head down, she has a host of dysfunctional family members at her heels, including her aunt, her drug-addicted cousin, and her homeless, philandering father, as well as members of the Brinkers resistance who feel she has information that can prevent a planetary attack. Kit's neighbor, Niles, seems to be the only caring constant in Kit's frantic world, though the rushed romance between them flounders as the story struggles to find a cohesive thread. Elwood crafts a protagonist who, though not exactly flat, is a suicidal, passive-aggressive mess. For the first half of the book, she seems more focused on fixing the annoying predicaments of her codependent family members than trying to understand the truth about her mother’s act of terrorism. Kit’s black-haired and light-skinned; her mother’s last name implies she may be biracial, but this facet of her identity plays no real part in the story.
The more intriguing aspects of this story are drowned out by the side-show melodrama. (Science fiction. 13-18)