3 out of 4 stars
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Imagine that you have just been notified that the world as you know it will soon end, by being literally shattered to pieces. Out of billions of people populating our beloved planet, only a select few thousand will be granted access to the sanctuary ships that will transport to a newly found planet capable of sustaining life. Only those who prove to have a credible skill will be granted access, and even then, space is limited. Scary thought, isn’t it?
In the first installment of Rachel Connell’s Phoenix Series, disaster lurks in the not-too-distant future, in the year 2060. Shattered Earth, published in April of 2016, follows the lives of extraordinary characters embarking on a journey to find their new home. Having been dealt a pretty disappointing hand at life so far, Gaia Christianson finds herself as one of the lucky few able to have a new chance at life aboard the ship traveling to Phoenix, the new planet. Orphaned and with no money, Gaia is completely on her own... until she meets Cade. Cadeon West left Earth with his family thanks to their knowledge of livestock, and are granted access in return for maintaining the cattle and horses.
Supplied with the latest technology and entertainment while aboard, things seem to be running smoothly for the travelers beginning on their journey. However, things start to take a downward spiral when fear of the unknown causes stress levels to rise and disaster to strike. Families are ripped apart and strangers are brought together in this contemporary post-apocalyptic novel that is a one-of-a-kind in its genre.
There are many characters in the mix, but my favorite being Gaia. Having suffered from tremendous loss in her young life, Gaia is determined to make a new life for herself aboard the ship. Her strength is inspiring, and a potential love interest had me rooting for her the entire time. The author did an excellent job of building the story, causing the reader to be drawn in and form an attachment to the characters. The communication between all characters felt natural and realistic, keeping in tune with how I would imagine people would be behaving in an apocalyptic situation. Most of the book took place in the shuttle traveling through space, but also including necessary updates on what happens with those struggling with what remains of planet Earth.
I was disappointed to find a few interruptions with the flow of the story, but thankfully did not have much of a negative impact on my reading. There were a few run-on sentences and a scattering of incorrect spelling (their/there, too/to). I also felt totally distraught with the ending of the book, which was a mild cliff-hanger, so I can only recommend the book to readers who wouldn’t mind being left in the dark while waiting for the release of the second book. The book also contains mature sexual content and crude language throughout, causing me to recommend this book to an adult audience only. Overall I loved reading the story, and am eagerly waiting for the second novel to be released, so I am happy to rate Shattered Earth 3 out of 4 stars. I would have easily rated the book a full 4 stars if it hadn’t been for the minor editing errors.
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