Synopsis: Life should be simple for Cassie.
For the small population of Earth survivors who live on the Space Station Hope everything they do is planned and scheduled, down to the cyclical food menus, their roles in the station, even how many children they have.
Despite rigid controls directing her life, Cassie feels more out of synch than ever and worries she won’t find a place for herself within the station community. Perhaps that’s because she’s hearing things inside her head that can’t possibly be real. Or maybe it’s the regular elopements of her peers, heading off to a romantic future in the Married Quarter of the space station, whilst she’s never even been attracted to a boy – no matter how hard her best friend Ami pushes them at her. Then there are the odd questions her work placement partner Balik keeps raising. His questions are just as troubling for her as his distracting smiles and eyes that seem to see inside her.
As Cassie draws closer to Balik she finds that everything else in her life begins to shift. He tells her things that call into question the system they live within. She can’t believe he is right, but at the same time she finds it hard to deny the sincerity of his ideas. Could there be a connection between Cassie’s problems and Balik’s questions? The truth will drag them both to a terrifying and deadly conclusion beyond anything they could have imagined.
Bookish things: 314-389 pages and a delightful cover, the reading was well paced and the characters interesting. I would recommend it for lovers of sci-fi, fantasy and distopian books who don’t mind their progaonists to be a little on the young side.
Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $0.96
It is not very often that avid readers can be completely knocked for six by an unexpected plot twist. The all too familiar and frequently used plot twists are often glaringly obvious and while can be done well, leave a bit to be desired.
Hope’s Daughter was amazingly unexpected, simply insidious in its ability to place a strangle-hold on your heart and squeeze it viscously at various points throughout the story. The simultaneous revulsion at what is happening to Cassie and Balik and the almost desperate need to better understand it and study it warred constantly as I read.
My mind baulked at some of the sheer fantasy of some of the nuggets of truth they encountered, but the logical way that Cassie and Balik were able to study, question and although not always come up with answers, made it easier for my mind to accept. This lead, surprisingly towards a feeling of truth and honesty that I have rarely felt from a book.
I am very keen to read more by Melanie, in fact I plan on heading over to Amazon right now. A brilliantly engaging read!
A couple of things I noticed:
31% – ‘I knew that would (be) the right thing…’
88% – ‘There was nothing I could (do) for him.’
Have you read anything that was completely unexpected? If so, share your experiences with us in the comments.