Author: Aubrie Dionne
Source: Contest Win
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Release Date: November 7, 2012
Reviewed by: Jasmyn
Finding a new home has never been so dangerous. Andromeda has spent all seventeen years of her life aboard a deep space transport vessel destined for a paradise planet. Her safe cocoon is about to break open as Paradise 21 looms only one month away, and she must take the aptitude tests to determine her role on the new world and her computer assigned lifemate. As a great-granddaughter of the Commander of the ship, she wants to live up to her family name. But, her forbidden love for her childhood friend, Sirius, distracts her and she fails the tests. The results place her in a menial role in the new colony and pair her with Corvus, the oaf. But when Andromeda steps foot on Paradise 21, her predestined future is the least of her worries. Alien ghosts from a failed colonization warn her of a deadly threat to her colony. And when Sirius's ship crashes on the far ridge in an attempt to investigate, she journeys to rescue him with Corvus. Andromeda now must convince the authorities of the imminent danger to protect her new home. What she didn't expect was a battle of her own feelings for Sirius and Corvus. Can she save the colony and discover her true love?
Colonization was a fantastic mix of several genres. We have colonists from Earth that have been in space for many generations finally reaching their new home. The science fiction aspect is launched from page one on the space ship and continues throughout with some of the technologies and even a bit of an alien presence of new somewhat intelligent plant life. We have a potential romance between Andromeda and her best friend, Sirius, that has some very major overhauls right from the start. It goes off in a direction I really didn't see coming at first. It is also a bit of a coming of age story as Andromeda struggles to find her place in the new world and among her people as a contributing member.
Andromeda was a great character. She was constantly evolving and learning. Colonizing a planet after being aboard a ship her whole life is a huge change for her. Having never known anything other than the inside of the colony ship, she has some very realistic fear of change as they approach the planet. Combine that with the feeling of not being the best she could on her aptitude tests, and you have a very confused young lady.
Sirius and Corvus were a perfect play off each other. I don't want to say too much about them because so much of their personality unfolds through the story. Andromeda's perceptions of them both changes many times throughout as she realizes more about both them and herself. For those of you who hate love triangles - don't worry. This is not what I would consider a love triangle and all the back and forth that tends to come with them.
A lot of Andromeda's growing up and self-realizations come because of a danger to the colony that she discovers. I loved watching how she threw herself into the problem and was willing to step up and take blame for her bad decisions and try to make them right. I also loved how she didn't back down when she knew she was right and others just didn't believe or listen to her. She seems to be the only one able to see the alien ghosts and she refuses to stop trying to find out what their message is. And it's a good thing she did. The action is a little more subtle in this - the danger isn't a planned attack or invasion, but something much more deadly and natural - I won't say more or I may ruin it.
This was a great read. I highly recommend it for fans of science fiction or romance. The way the two were mixed was phenomenal. Book two is already out and I will be adding to my reading list a soon as I can.