Monday, November 26, 2012

Earth Girl Review

358 pages

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.

The concept of this novel was certainly different from others. I couldn't imagine having access to other worlds and being forced to stay on Earth because you're "allergic" to these other places. That's basically what life is like for Jarra. Jarra is a strong individual who doesn't just accept things because people tell her that's the way it is and instead finds a way to try and prove them wrong. I liked that Jarra makes it a point to be good at the things she does so that no one can ever blame her being an "ape" for the reason she failed. The other characters from different worlds all have something interesting about them that sets them apart from each other and its fun to see how their interactions with each other develop and change as they become closer. The different prejudices about people like Jarra definitely seem cruel because its a condition that really isn't their fault. Jarra really worried me for a bit in this book but I have to admit her behavior was an interesting twist to the story. Everything about this book is really well written, the descriptions are extremely detailed and help to make you understand the world that is built here. I definitely recommend reading this book if you're a fan of original science fiction novels.


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