Monday 13 August 2012


ISBN: 9780007443499
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Pages: 358
Formats Available: Paperback, Kindle

BLURB from Goodreads
2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an ‘ape’, a ‘throwback’, but this is one ape girl who won’t give in.

Jarra invents a fake background for herself – as a normal child of Military parents – and joins a class of norms that is on Earth to excavate the ruins of the old cities. When an ancient skyscraper collapses, burying another research team, Jarra’s role in their rescue puts her in the spotlight. No hiding at back of class now. To make life more complicated, she finds herself falling in love with one of her classmates – a norm from another planet. Somehow, she has to keep the deception going.

A freak solar storm strikes the atmosphere, and the class is ordered to portal off-world for safety – no problem for a real child of military parents, but fatal for Jarra. The storm is so bad that the crews of the orbiting solar arrays have to escape to planet below: the first landing from space in 600 years. And one is on collision course with their shelter.

I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC of this book, kindly arranged by the author Janet Edwards, So a big Thankyou once again.
I'll start with the cover of the actual book, I really like it, the view of the skyline of one of the dig site's. The colors are great on it too. you also see the shadow of a lone person standing at the dig site which draws you further in and makes you want to pick up the book and read the blurb. Then the blurb does the rest of the job and draws you in and makes you need to know more!
The ARC cover (pictured at the bottom of this post) is somewhat plainer to the actual cover, but I really did like the ARC cover, the effect of the bylines on the front is great and even stronger in it's pull of making you want to know more than the effect of the actual book cover (picture above). The bylines are strong statements "Living on Earth is a Life Sentence.
Home only to those who can't escape: Throwbacks, Neanderthals....and me."
Now to what I thought to the book, ..... I really enjoyed it. You initially join Jarra in Next Step, the place where those who cannot travel through portals end up living. Usually when it becomes apparent a baby cannot survive other than on earth, the baby is "dumped" on earth as a ward of the Hospital Earth. The "dumped baby" is then given Pro (short for professional) parents. Parents who are paid to give the "dumped baby" 2 hours of "quality" time per week. The "dumped babies" are known by various nasty names such as "Neans" short for Neanderthals, "Apes" "throwbacks" as in throwbacks to the original humans on earth unable to portal. Of course the "Neans" have a nickname or two for the ones that can portal, they are known as "exos". So the "Neans" live in a kind of communal home called "Next Step" then when the "Neans" are 18 they get to choose what college/university to attend and what to study.
I loved how Janet Edwards made you feel included in the lives of those in "Next Step" and especially attached to Jarra, the main character of the book. Jarra seems to have a problem and a lot of anger issues surrounding "exos" and how they treat "neans" So she devises a plan to attend Asgard a university known for "exos" she wants to fool the "exos" into thinking she is one of them and then get revenge by revealing her true identity. That's the plan anyway. But when does anything ever go to plan. Jarra makes up a cover story and new identity for herself and continues lie after lie even though she finds herself warming, even liking the "exos". So what should Jarra do? Then she gets some extremely bad news to which her reaction is a kind of breakdown as she loses herself in her lies.
There is always something happening in this book, there are a lot of strong, interesting characters. Janet Edwards tackles some sensitive issues, such as racism between the "neans" and "exos" she also tackles parenting problem and absentee fathers. It really is well written and does not come across as preaching in any way at all.
This book has secrets, lies, suspense, bravery, courage, friendship and love too. So before I start to ramble on again, because I could ramble on for ages about this brilliant book. How could I quickly describe it? Hmmm it's kind of like Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan, and Across The Universe by Beth Revis but quite a bit further along in the plot when settlers have made it to other planets.
So to sum up, Did I enjoy the book? YES Would I recommend it? Oh, Yes. Would I read more in this series? YES Would I read more by Janet Edwards? Definitely.

Available at 
(Released on 16th August 2012)

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