Skye Object 3270a

This was one of the first review copies I got through LibraryThing, and the first time I read Linda Nagata.

I was impressed, and this is not the last time you’ll see me reviewing her work.

Incidentally, she has a complete trilogy coming out in the next few months.

A retro review from April 9, 2012 …

Review: Skye Object 3270a, Linda Nagata, 2011.

In this young adult novel, fourteen year old heroine Skye Object 3270a (the awkward moniker refers to the astronomical designation given to the drifting lifeboat she was discovered in) is found to have “puzzle pieces” in her blood, building blocks for a plague that could wipe out Silk, her home in space. SkyeObject_ebook_600x800

While Skye’s blood contains a potentially lethal infection, Nagata’s story has spliced, into the usual literary base pairs of the juvenile, aka young adult, sf story, a more benign packet of information: a collection of memes designed to rewrite the tastes of young readers.

I refer to the usual formulaic elements of the young adult story. There is the group of teens, sometimes cunning and sometimes rather clueless in the operation of the physical and social worlds: Skye, orphan and wild girl who has spent a lot of time under the surveillance of cute companion/robot/pet/city-designated overseer Ord and who lives with the city’s oldest citizen; her friend Zia, slightly older than Skye with parents who grow the octopoid lydras, creatures genetically engineered for construction work in the hard vacuum in space; the boisterous Buyu, would-be planetary explorer and victim of unrequited interest in Skye; Devi, a sixteen year old suffering from an overprotective mother who has cloned him from a brother dead far in the past. It will come as no surprise that young romance crops up between Devi and Skye. Adults are, of course, rather clueless to the threat to Silk.

You will note, I didn’t say these are clichés. I am not a fan of the young adult stories or, generally, stories with young protagonists, but I liked this story. I found the teen characters realistic and not annoyingly plucky or unrealistically competent. Continue reading