The Spiral Arm is a debut Novella from author Peter Boland. It is the beginning of a dystopian serial series, brought to you in episodes. For me, just that sold me on the idea. I love dystopian books and serial series, and I am a junkie for cliffhanger endings. It makes the suspense of waiting for the next one so much sweeter.
Wren Harper lives on an overcrowded Earth on the brink of apocalypse. There are just too many people. The answer lies 600 light-years away on Kepler; a planet more than double the size of Earth. For decades humans have been fighting another race for its control. Earth’s armies are depleted. So now 15-year-old cadets are sent to fight, trained along the way in vast combat ships. But why has Wren been chosen? She’s small and geeky and not a fighter. Will she survive Kepler? Or will the training kill her first?
Wren is a fifteen-year-old insomniac and lives in a world where every bit of space is utilized. People live on the streets and in hallways and the government has built complexes with floors stacked on top of floors (I’m talking 300+ floors) with little cubicle apartments the size of bedrooms. This is due to a serious overpopulation problem on earth. To combat that problem, the people of earth have found another planet, but one that they are having to fight to control.
In this world, fifteen-year-old children are sent to war, training on spaceships on the years it takes to reach the new planet. Wren never expected to be chosen to go and yet, she finds herself aboard the spaceship, the smallest and the weakest one, and the one that a group of people bullies. Will Wren survive her training? Will she make any new friends? Or will she find herself destroyed before she even finds out why she was chosen, when usually only the biggest and bravest are?
I devoured this book in about an hour and a half. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The premise was so realistic and I can just imagine it happening someday. Character development was great and Wren was an amazing main character. This is one book that you do not want to miss. The cliffhanger ending had my jaw dropping open and my fingers flying across the keyboard, begging Peter to tell me when the next episode comes out. I give this book 5 stars.
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