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The World Gives Way

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In a near-future world on the brink of collapse, a young woman born into servitude must seize her own freedom in this glittering debut with a brilliant twist; perfect for fans of Station Eleven, Karen Thompson Walker, and Naomi Alderman. In fifty years, Myrra will be free. Until then, she's a contract worker. Ever since she was five, her life and labor have belonged to the h In a near-future world on the brink of collapse, a young woman born into servitude must seize her own freedom in this glittering debut with a brilliant twist; perfect for fans of Station Eleven, Karen Thompson Walker, and Naomi Alderman. In fifty years, Myrra will be free. Until then, she's a contract worker. Ever since she was five, her life and labor have belonged to the highest bidder on her contract--butchers, laundries, and now the powerful, secretive Carlyles. But when one night finds the Carlyles dead, Myrra is suddenly free a lot sooner than she anticipated--and at a cost she never could have imagined. Burdened with the Carlyles' orphaned daughter and the terrible secret they died to escape, she runs. With time running out, Myrra must come face to face with the truth about her world--and embrace what's left before it's too late. A sweeping novel with a darkly glimmering heart, The World Gives Way is an unforgettable portrait of a world in freefall, and the fierce drive to live even at the end of it all.


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In a near-future world on the brink of collapse, a young woman born into servitude must seize her own freedom in this glittering debut with a brilliant twist; perfect for fans of Station Eleven, Karen Thompson Walker, and Naomi Alderman. In fifty years, Myrra will be free. Until then, she's a contract worker. Ever since she was five, her life and labor have belonged to the h In a near-future world on the brink of collapse, a young woman born into servitude must seize her own freedom in this glittering debut with a brilliant twist; perfect for fans of Station Eleven, Karen Thompson Walker, and Naomi Alderman. In fifty years, Myrra will be free. Until then, she's a contract worker. Ever since she was five, her life and labor have belonged to the highest bidder on her contract--butchers, laundries, and now the powerful, secretive Carlyles. But when one night finds the Carlyles dead, Myrra is suddenly free a lot sooner than she anticipated--and at a cost she never could have imagined. Burdened with the Carlyles' orphaned daughter and the terrible secret they died to escape, she runs. With time running out, Myrra must come face to face with the truth about her world--and embrace what's left before it's too late. A sweeping novel with a darkly glimmering heart, The World Gives Way is an unforgettable portrait of a world in freefall, and the fierce drive to live even at the end of it all.

30 review for The World Gives Way

  1. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    i dont think this is a book i would have picked up had i not received an ARC, so this was a really enjoyable surprise. i went into this thinking it was going to be a classic dystopian novel, but it reminded me a lot of ‘they both die at the end’ in so many ways. and because the focus of the story is on finding human connection in the darkest of moments, the sci-fi aspect of the novel takes a backseat. and i honestly didnt mind that. i enjoyed the writing as it prompts a range of emotions. th i dont think this is a book i would have picked up had i not received an ARC, so this was a really enjoyable surprise. i went into this thinking it was going to be a classic dystopian novel, but it reminded me a lot of ‘they both die at the end’ in so many ways. and because the focus of the story is on finding human connection in the darkest of moments, the sci-fi aspect of the novel takes a backseat. and i honestly didnt mind that. i enjoyed the writing as it prompts a range of emotions. the characters feel real and are wholly relatable. and the ending of the story is quiet one, but wow, it fits the tone of the story perfectly. this is a really great debut and has put ML on my radar of authors to watch. thank you redhook books for the ARC! ↠ 4 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Holly (Holly Hearts Books)

    At times it seems like The World Gives Way is trying to see how many good design ideas it can stuff into itself without exploding. Scifi epic? Check. Addictive crime solving? Yup. Multiple characters with compelling emotions? Uh-huh! Visual-novel goodness? That too! Even more incredibly, this hodgepodge of awesome components crammed together into one book create something utterly unique and enduringly memorable. Full review to come on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/hollyheartsbooks At times it seems like The World Gives Way is trying to see how many good design ideas it can stuff into itself without exploding. Scifi epic? Check. Addictive crime solving? Yup. Multiple characters with compelling emotions? Uh-huh! Visual-novel goodness? That too! Even more incredibly, this hodgepodge of awesome components crammed together into one book create something utterly unique and enduringly memorable. Full review to come on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/hollyheartsbooks

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    My thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. It is the end of the world as Myrra Dal knew it. The couple to whom her services had been contracted were dead. The floating world that was supposed to have been their salvation had an irreparable crack in the ship's hull. Everyone on board was doomed. After the death of her "employers," Myrra decides to escape her indentured servitude and sets out on an odyssey. She takes the orphaned daugh My thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. It is the end of the world as Myrra Dal knew it. The couple to whom her services had been contracted were dead. The floating world that was supposed to have been their salvation had an irreparable crack in the ship's hull. Everyone on board was doomed. After the death of her "employers," Myrra decides to escape her indentured servitude and sets out on an odyssey. She takes the orphaned daughter of her former "employers" and sets out to find her mother, and a good place to settle back and await her death. Myrra is eventually captured by Tobias (whose backstory injects an element of irony to this story.) She tries to convince the authorities that the ship is breaking apart, that death was inevitable for them all. Tobias believed in the system, but what good would it do them, she reasoned, when they were all going to die in the very near future? So many people have given this slow-moving, introspective novel glowing reviews. While I was impressed with the world-building, I must confess that I wasn't all that interested in the mechanics and politics of this futuristic floating world. (Hierarchies based on wealth, power and greed still reign supreme in this futuristic world- we are all deluded, unquestioning slaves to the System, etc. etc...) I was more interested in observing the psychological and emotional impact of the news of their inevitable demise on the inhabitants of this gigantic ship. Ultimately, this was a dry, meandering read for me. I am not a huge fan of fantasy or science fiction, but I was intrigued by the concept of this novel. For me, the big question was always: what would be each individual person's thoughts and actions as they waited for the end to come? The ending of this novel was quite touching: there were, of course, plenty of tears and warm final thoughts. Obviously, this novel had to have one of those endings that I tend to dislike: it was all just so hopeless. Mind you, I was warned by the blurb of this inevitable, hopeless ending, so I suppose I can't complain when that is exactly what I got, can I?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    The World Gives Way is a mash-up dystopian, science fiction, with a touch of fantasy. It’s creative, original, and thought-provoking, which is one of my favorite things about dystopian books. It’s full of surprises, and I think it’s best to go in as blind as possible. Marissa Levien’s storytelling has the reader as an observer to all the events. Like a fly on the wall, you are literally right there as it all unfolds. The World Gives Way is epic and immersive, and I couldn't put it down. I received The World Gives Way is a mash-up dystopian, science fiction, with a touch of fantasy. It’s creative, original, and thought-provoking, which is one of my favorite things about dystopian books. It’s full of surprises, and I think it’s best to go in as blind as possible. Marissa Levien’s storytelling has the reader as an observer to all the events. Like a fly on the wall, you are literally right there as it all unfolds. The World Gives Way is epic and immersive, and I couldn't put it down. I received a gifted copy from the publisher. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  5. 5 out of 5

    Books with Brittany

    3.75⭐️ I’m gonna have to think on this one for a bit

  6. 4 out of 5

    RoshReviews

    In a Nutshell: This would be a great book for sci-fi beginners who want to try a dystopian novel with detailed sci-fi embellishments without going overboard on the technical jargon. Story: Myrra is a contract worker whose family has been in servitude since generations due to a bond signed by her great-grandmother a century ago. With 50 years to go on this contract, Myrra has to continue working with the Carlyles, her uber-rich, politically-influential owners. But one night, when both the Carlyles In a Nutshell: This would be a great book for sci-fi beginners who want to try a dystopian novel with detailed sci-fi embellishments without going overboard on the technical jargon. Story: Myrra is a contract worker whose family has been in servitude since generations due to a bond signed by her great-grandmother a century ago. With 50 years to go on this contract, Myrra has to continue working with the Carlyles, her uber-rich, politically-influential owners. But one night, when both the Carlyles end up killing themselves, Myrra finds herself free but at a huge cost: a horrible secret that made them take their own lives, even willing to leave their infant daughter alone. Now Myrra has little Charlotte, a gateway to freedom, and nowhere to go. Is it too late for her? Will she be able to embrace and accept the truth about her fate? Can’t reveal much more because I don’t want to give out spoilers, but the secret is so, so bad that it’s really good! :D The story comes to us in the third person perspective of Myrra and Tobias, one of the investigating officers on the Carlyle case. Where the book clicked for me: • For a debut work, the scale of the story is really well-created. All the locations in the story are detailed out in such vivid detail that the scene comes alive in your mind. I loved every single locale described in the book, and the names given to them. • The lead characters are pretty likeable, and quite realistic. They aren’t shown to be perfect but depicted with human strengths and flaws, making it easier to connect with them. • Reading this book while in a pandemic is a philosophical experience in itself. There are so many poignant lines in the second half that left me lost in thought. (No, the book isn’t about a pandemic.) • There is no forced romance. A big hurrah for that. • The ending. Oh My God! A whole star for that ending. I wish I could tell you about it, I so want to talk about it, but my lips are zipped. All I can say is how happy I was that the book stuck to its natural flow and gave it a logical ending. With the way the narrative was going, I was mentally prepared for yet another last-minute, farfetched twist in the tale. But the manner in which the author brought things to a close took my breath away and I just sat for a few minutes, dumbfounded. Where the book could have been better: • The first half of the book is fast, almost thriller-like, with quick changes in scenes, character perspective shifts between Myrra and Tobias and a rush from one event to another. In the second half, the pace becomes slow and the writing becomes more like a drama, sometimes even turning philosophical. If you can’t realign yourself to this shift in pace and genre, you’ll be disappointed with either the first half or the second half. • Some parts in the second half felt like personal philosophical advice being given by the author. I could have happily done without those. • While still in third person, the writing suddenly peppers us with "let's consider" and "let us think about" and other such "let us" phrases. This is not in what the characters are saying but in the background scene description. Such ad-hoc use of the first person imperative marred the overall writing flow of those chapters. • Though the character sketching was more or less okay, Myrra seemed far too prescient considering her lack of formal education or learning opportunities. I couldn’t come to terms with the depth of her knowledge, especially as she was said to be hardly schooled and had no access to books or technology. The extent to which she grasped technical stuff by overhearing conversations was unrealistic. So there were areas of improvement for sure. But I still think this is a pretty good debut work and would love to read more by this author. The pros far outweighed the cons for me, and I think I’m also being more generous because of that choice of ending. The audio book is about 13 hours long, and is narrated by Christine Lakin. She is fabulous with her narration. I think her “male voice” is one of the best I’ve heard from a female narrator. She doesn’t deliberately convert her tone to a guttural bass but just voices Tobias in a natural-sounding way. I don’t know what she did, but I enjoyed it. Getting the reader to concentrate from the first scene to the last in such a lengthy audiobook without any rewinding needed is a big plus point for the narrator. Thank you, NetGalley and Hachette Audio, for the audio ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review. It's a 4.25 from me. *********************** Join me on the Facebook group, Readers Forever! , for more reviews, book-related discussions and fun. Follow me on Instagram: RoshReviews

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bandit

    Once upon a time the world was round and you could go on it around and around * and then it became something different entirely. A universe all too contained and suddenly coming undone. And in it a young woman contracted as a maid, fleeing a double suicide of her employers tries to find her way to something like safety or maybe just solace. Myrra is twenty five and she has been under a labor contact for most of her life, a fifty year contract that can be bought and sold, like so many of her soci Once upon a time the world was round and you could go on it around and around * and then it became something different entirely. A universe all too contained and suddenly coming undone. And in it a young woman contracted as a maid, fleeing a double suicide of her employers tries to find her way to something like safety or maybe just solace. Myrra is twenty five and she has been under a labor contact for most of her life, a fifty year contract that can be bought and sold, like so many of her social class. Because the world she lives in is extremely socially divided into approximately three strata, the megawealthy, the workers, and everyone inbetween. Myrra was born into the first stratum, her employers were very much of the second one and Tobias, the Security forces worker who is tasked with finding Myrra, was born into money, but eventually adopted and raised in the inbetween class, comfortable, but not obscenely so. Due to his divided upbringing, he has becoming a methodical precise ambitious man, someone who wants to excel and prove himself to the world and to his beloved adopted father who is also his boss as the chief of Security. But this is neither a crime novel nor a chase novel. In fact, once you learn the reasons for Myrra’s leaving and you will in the end of first chapter, you’ll know exactly what kind of story this is. Frustratingly enough, the description doesn’t give away too much, so I don’t think I can either, but suffice it to say, whatever kind of story you think it might be…it is magnificent. Every so often the book just hits you right, the words reach out from the pages, grab you and don’t let go. It’s a terrific rush, the sort of thing a reader always looks for and seldom finds and this book did just that. From the very first chapter, it transported, teleported, threw me into a distant, strange and tragic world. And I didn’t want to leave, though leaving is kind of one of the main themes here. You can tell, though, what’s coming. The title promises as much. The world goes round and around until it no longer can. And this novel is appropriately elegiac without reserving to being moribund. It’s more about the endings than beginnings, but it is a thing of beauty to behold for all its inherent sadness. It’s a debut that gets every single thing right from creating terrific, compelling, memorable characters to spectacular intricate worldbuilding to gorgeously engaging narrative. I absolutely loved it. Being a fan of dystopian fiction, I do have a pretty wide field of comparison, but this book is too good for all that, it is very much a thing of its own. So if you read thus far you already got the idea that this is a book worth checking out. Please do. And walk away now, because I want to say something things about the ending. OK? Ok then… So no happy ending here, not a conventional one. That’s a brave thing in this world of contrived performative collective cheer and I salute it. And sure, I’ve come to care so much about the characters and sure I wanted them to somehow find a magic way out, but at the same time I completely understand and appreciate the ending the author chose. This is, after all, a novel about the world giving way. Because this world itself a stunningly hubristic venture into the indifferent darkness of space, this world’s trajectory was that of an Icarus’ flight. Ambition or arrogance dwarfed by impossible circumstances, chance, brutally random twist of fate. Les like fiction, more like life. A cheaper, more commercially minded way to end this would have the three of them finding a shuttle, making to Telos, living happily ever after. In fact, there’d be at least one sequel too. It would have been fine, but it wouldn’t have been right. And it wouldn’t have poignant. And it wouldn’t have been memorable. This is the way that world ends…it’s the end of the world and they know it…and they are fine. In fact, approaching something like peace, something like grace. So that’s the novel and all my notions and thoughts about it. It’s an excellent read, I absolutely loved it. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley. * Gertrude Stein, from Myrra's favorite book This and more at https://advancetheplot.weebly.com/

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jovana (NovelOnMyMind)

    Unfortunately, I don't really have much to say about this book. For such a dramatic plot twist, the story felt surprisingly unexciting. Not all was bad. The writing was OK, the protagonists likable enough and the premise had a lot of potential. But to me, the pacing felt really slow and full of turns and details I didn't really care about. The way the book started, I was expecting much more from it. Thank you to the #NetGalley and to the author and publisher for providing me with an audiobook versi Unfortunately, I don't really have much to say about this book. For such a dramatic plot twist, the story felt surprisingly unexciting. Not all was bad. The writing was OK, the protagonists likable enough and the premise had a lot of potential. But to me, the pacing felt really slow and full of turns and details I didn't really care about. The way the book started, I was expecting much more from it. Thank you to the #NetGalley and to the author and publisher for providing me with an audiobook version of The World Gives Way by Marissa Levien in exchange for an honest review. ❤ ❤ ❤

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Gibson

    The Short Version: A dramatically ambitious debut novel about finding meaning in nothingness. A book that has all the right notes but is a little more music theory than a beautiful symphony. The Long Version: I got to listen to the audiobook version of this novel thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Audio. Myrra is an indentured servant on a spaceship flying to a new world. When they arrive in 50 years she’ll be set free, but until that time she works for the Carlyles. One night, the Carlyles ask her The Short Version: A dramatically ambitious debut novel about finding meaning in nothingness. A book that has all the right notes but is a little more music theory than a beautiful symphony. The Long Version: I got to listen to the audiobook version of this novel thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Audio. Myrra is an indentured servant on a spaceship flying to a new world. When they arrive in 50 years she’ll be set free, but until that time she works for the Carlyles. One night, the Carlyles ask her to take care of their infant daughter, Charlotte, and when they’re suddenly gone, Myrra is forced to reckon with what’s happened and where to go from there. This was a weird and tough one for me. Most of the time I felt rather MEH listening to it, but when I looked at my notes and really thought on it, there wasn’t much of anything glaringly poor or wrong about this book. The protagonists were both likable. They had layered stories that informed their actions pretty well. Their character arcs made sense and were nicely drawn, coming to sensible and satisfying conclusions. The prose was well written, though the third person limited occasionally drifted into more of an omniscient tone, and there were moments with too much telling vs. showing. The plot moved at a reasonable pace and given all the circumstances, each move made logical sense even if there were a few convenient plot twists. I wanted to say that this book just never hooked me, but that would be inaccurate. The first few chapters were a firecracker start, and instantly establish life or death stakes. The ending too, was really something great. I feared for a lot of the book we were headed toward a fairy tale ending, but the author spared that injustice and wrote something tragic and beautiful instead. So what went wrong? Sounds pretty awesome so far right? In the end, I think it was a lot of little things that nagged at me. Considering the high stakes, the middle of the book sagged pretty hard. Myrra was on a journey of discovering meaning, and while it’s not like nothing happened, there was this feeling of “so what?” constantly cloying at me. This book examines big topics and big questions, so there were a number of moments where the story felt melodramatic instead of profound, like it was close to something greater but was pushing too hard. Myrra too was flawed in her construction because she did not seem flawed enough. She was an uneducated servant, and while she was ambitious and clever, she’s written essentially flawless. She has to improvise a plan once the Carlyles go missing, but every move works out in her favor and she’s always one step ahead. She seems too prescient at times as well and I couldn’t get behind her like I wanted to. This is definitely not a book for die hard sci-fi fans as the sci-fi aspects are mostly window dressing and set pieces. Additionally, as Myrra travels to the new parts of the world, there are short chapters that explain the composition and construction of each region which was very clunky as a world building technique. The narrator of the audiobook did not help in this situation either as far as I can tell. It may be because the last three audiobooks I listened to had pretty killer narrators enhancing the story, but here everything felt muted. Considering the life and death stakes, the moments of emotion were more foothills than peaks and valleys. The narrator did do a nice job differentiating character voices and each felt distinct and easy to track. Overall though I wasn’t pulled in by her. I think there may be two things going on here that left me feeling differently than some other reviewers. First is that perhaps this book is a mirror of the reader. For the more glass half full crowd, the ones who find beauty in the mundane, this is a rich emotional journey and a sure fire winner. For the glass half empty group however, the entirety of the journey feels pointless and it’s a struggle to find the meaning Myrra is searching for. The second possibility is that those reading the book can put their own emotion into it whereas I was having mine filtered through an audiobook narration that did not convey the richness of narrative. Overall a solid 3 out of 5. If you’re in a book rut and need a safe read that’s unlikely to bomb, this is a good choice. I definitely recommend a print or digital version so you can pour your own emotion into it. Again, do not recommend for hardcore sci-fi fans...I would expect this to come up short to that crowd. Component Ratings Idea/Concept: 4 out of 5 Female Protagonist: 3 out of 5 Male Protagonist: 3 out of 5 Pacing: 3.5 out of 5 Prose: 3.5 out of 5 Plot: 2 out of 5 World Building: 2.5 out of 5 Narrator Performance: 2.5 out of 5 Dialogue: 3.5 out of 5 Ending: 4.5 out of 5

  10. 5 out of 5

    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

    This story was so absorbing and thought provoking and I loved the author's storytelling approach, where readers become observers to what is happening. We see through the eyes of different characters and I liked the message for today's world. Great commentary on the future humans on Earth have if current political, economical, and environmental issues aren't resolved. Interesting idea with unique writing and stellar execution. This most original and provocative read is both entertai This story was so absorbing and thought provoking and I loved the author's storytelling approach, where readers become observers to what is happening. We see through the eyes of different characters and I liked the message for today's world. Great commentary on the future humans on Earth have if current political, economical, and environmental issues aren't resolved. Interesting idea with unique writing and stellar execution. This most original and provocative read is both entertaining and memorable. I see a bright future for author Marissa Levien. Disclosure: Thank you NetGalley, Marissa Levien and Redhook Books for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own. #NetGalley

  11. 4 out of 5

    Trisha Tomy

    I received a free e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! This was a very weird book, and absolutely nothing like I'd expected, but I still really enjoyed this. I had a very hard time deciding what to rate this, and right now this is probably 3.5 stars rounded up to 4, because this was so much more depressing than I'd expected. Like God I was expecting a more rebel-y, uplifting dystopia, but this went down the Passengers/Interstellar/*insert name of depressing space dystopia movie t I received a free e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! This was a very weird book, and absolutely nothing like I'd expected, but I still really enjoyed this. I had a very hard time deciding what to rate this, and right now this is probably 3.5 stars rounded up to 4, because this was so much more depressing than I'd expected. Like God I was expecting a more rebel-y, uplifting dystopia, but this went down the Passengers/Interstellar/*insert name of depressing space dystopia movie that was really good, but also depressing* path, and I don't know, I feel so conflicted about this. I had a very hard time getting into this originally because this did not start in the way I was expecting it to start, and since I was listening to this an an audioarc, some of the informative chapters in between would really confuse me. I even had a pretty hard time differentiating between the two POVs, Tobias and Myrra, because I just didn't realise they were different people in the beginning. Still, I powered through after quite a bit of a break and restarted this, and I was addicted. Not really the kind where I just cannot survive without finishing, but more the kind I can't stop listening to when I'm listening then take breaks, and by the end I didn't want to finish this because I just knew it wasn't going to end well. And it was just so depressing, and I wanted to cry and then it just ended without warning?!??!?! Like I had to go back and relisten to make sure I wasn't missing something, but it just ended!?!??! Just like that!??!? And I, I just don't have any words to express how I felt after that. I think this a book I will relisten to in the future, even though it was depressing, I feel like it was a very enjoyable read too. I did feel there was a lot of filler stuff, stuff I really didn't think we needed, but it wasn't? but it was? I'm just so confused. This is why I don't like to read these kind of books, because even though they were horrible, I couldn't help but like them. I'd really thought this was the typical the-world-is-ending-and-a-rebel-uprising-will-save-it kind of book, but this is way more space sci-fi than it is dystopia and Hunger Games like. I loved the writing, Marissa Levein definitely has a way with words (That ending?!?!? I was sobbing). I loved our characters, I loved how relatable they were, how I could get why they did stuff they did, even though I didn't completely agree with it sometimes. The narrator was really good, I just wish there was a better way of differentiating between the POVs and the informative chapters in between, because I would be halfway through a chapter before I would realise it was a different POV, or not a POV at all. I feel like this review sounds very disjointed and all mixed up, but honestly, that is exactly how I felt about this after finishing, and still do. I don't know. I was just shocked by the way it ended, because even though it was an amazing ending for our characters, I really wanted more with Charlotte. Speaking of Charlotte, I just loved Charlotte. I loved how both Tobias and Myrra bonded over Charlotte, I loved the road trip, I just, *crying* I DON'T KNOW OKAY?!? I'M NOT EMOTIONALLY OVER THIS BOOK ENOUGH TO WRITE A COMPREHENSIVE AND OBJECTIVE REVIEW. You know what, I'm just ending it here. If I ever get to rereading this, I'll write a better review. I recommend it to sci-fi lovers, people okay with sad endings, compelling characters, and would not mind waiting for the book to start making sense.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This audiobook was narrated by Christine Lakin and she did a very good job. She pulled off the male voices better than most. I recommend the narrator. Now on to the novel. This debut was a dystopia and it started out great. I was invested. It made a lot of sense and I was interested in how they got there. Why they were there. You know, all that kind of stuff. And then it just…. Well it just….. I refuse to give any spoilers so you just have to trust me when I say I didn’t like the ending! This au This audiobook was narrated by Christine Lakin and she did a very good job. She pulled off the male voices better than most. I recommend the narrator. Now on to the novel. This debut was a dystopia and it started out great. I was invested. It made a lot of sense and I was interested in how they got there. Why they were there. You know, all that kind of stuff. And then it just…. Well it just….. I refuse to give any spoilers so you just have to trust me when I say I didn’t like the ending! This author has great potential and I’d definitely listen to another novel of hers. Thanks Redhook via Netgalley.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Books.and.Salt

    Wow. I need to either lower every other 5 star rating I've ever given or GoodReads needs to add a sixth star. I am BLOWN AWAY by this simultaneously dark and hopeful read. I am going to be purposefully vague here - as I believe it's the authors intention to start you off with very little + I adored cycling through the wide range of emotions as I read. In the near future, Myrra is a indentured worker finishing out the contract that her grandmother signed. In just fifty years her family line will Wow. I need to either lower every other 5 star rating I've ever given or GoodReads needs to add a sixth star. I am BLOWN AWAY by this simultaneously dark and hopeful read. I am going to be purposefully vague here - as I believe it's the authors intention to start you off with very little + I adored cycling through the wide range of emotions as I read. In the near future, Myrra is a indentured worker finishing out the contract that her grandmother signed. In just fifty years her family line will be free. But one night she finds her employers dead and suddenly she has a chance at freedom much sooner. Bringing along her employers' infant daughter and harboring the secret they died to escape, Myrra runs. That is just the start - as Myrra learns more about her world, she discovers how short lived freedom will be. While the science fiction takes a back seat to the character development most of the book, I found the world building very well fleshed out. The different cities and structures within the world are so creative and Levien manages to create an atmosphere that is both expansive and claustrophobic. Myrra and Charlotte are both so easy to love; I felt such a kinship with the realistic characters in this novel. The World Gives Way is a breathtaking look at the extent we will go for true human connection even in the darkest of times. Special thanks to Redhook Books and Netgalley for providing a digital copy in exchange for my honest review!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Nelson

    Just finished the advanced copy of this book.... And I am IN AWE. This is such an incredible and moving story, like if "Seeking a Friend for the End of the a World" started as a police procedural. For a story that takes place in space, everything felt so incredibly similar to our lives here. The world Levien has built is so beautiful and tangible, and her characters so real-- full of empathy, anxiety, love, and a desire to survive. I cannot say enough good things. Read this book!!!! Just finished the advanced copy of this book.... And I am IN AWE. This is such an incredible and moving story, like if "Seeking a Friend for the End of the a World" started as a police procedural. For a story that takes place in space, everything felt so incredibly similar to our lives here. The world Levien has built is so beautiful and tangible, and her characters so real-- full of empathy, anxiety, love, and a desire to survive. I cannot say enough good things. Read this book!!!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I won this book through a goodreads giveaway! First: oh my god. Second: oh my god. Third: ohhh myyy goddd. This book was profound, dark, funny, heartbreaking, and uplifting. My emotions were all over the place reading this book. If you're looking for a book with a strong heroine main character, this is your book. If you want space age apocalyptic thriller, this is your book. If you want mystery investigation and cat and mouse suspense, this is your book. I encourage anyone who didn't win the giv I won this book through a goodreads giveaway! First: oh my god. Second: oh my god. Third: ohhh myyy goddd. This book was profound, dark, funny, heartbreaking, and uplifting. My emotions were all over the place reading this book. If you're looking for a book with a strong heroine main character, this is your book. If you want space age apocalyptic thriller, this is your book. If you want mystery investigation and cat and mouse suspense, this is your book. I encourage anyone who didn't win the giveaway to buy this as soon as they get the chance. I can see this becoming a bestseller. Simply phenomenal.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Myrra is a nanny-maid contract worker on an intergenerational ship. When she discovers the end of the world is coming, she runs away. Tobias is the rookie detective sent to track her down. The best part of this book for me was Tobias. I liked him. Myrra remained too morally gray and manipulative for my tastes - and while I understand the reasons for this - I felt like she never really showed any growth. My least favorite part of the book was the worldbuilding. The ship doesn't even have a name as Myrra is a nanny-maid contract worker on an intergenerational ship. When she discovers the end of the world is coming, she runs away. Tobias is the rookie detective sent to track her down. The best part of this book for me was Tobias. I liked him. Myrra remained too morally gray and manipulative for my tastes - and while I understand the reasons for this - I felt like she never really showed any growth. My least favorite part of the book was the worldbuilding. The ship doesn't even have a name as far as I can tell. The people on it have somehow managed to forget most everything despite it being such a short time span, and every time there was a reference to things like: the sun, the stars, soldiers, pigeons, sugar, soot, etc, I was immediately thrown out of the story. There was reference to prison, but no explanation of the government, and so on. I realize none of that matters, not if the world is ending, but it was jarring to constantly feel like they were on a hollow set playacting a story. The book is laser-focused on the personalities and motivations of the two point-of-view characters, and that's what kept me enjoying the read. There's never any doubt about the end, Levien makes it very clear their world is doomed, but somehow that didn't ruin the emotional impact of how the characters face the end. Thank you to NetGalley and Hachette for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    beautiful, heartrending, hopeful even at the pitch black end of the world. reminded me of the best parts of the ending of animorphs, which is THE HIGHEST compliment I am capable of bestowing. “something was wrong with the world. the ship. the world.” “he was touching the same piece of paper she had touched. he placed his palm on top of one of the paper letters, as if to mirror the motions he imagined, pushing down as if he could push through his glove, through the paper, and touch her hand on the beautiful, heartrending, hopeful even at the pitch black end of the world. reminded me of the best parts of the ending of animorphs, which is THE HIGHEST compliment I am capable of bestowing. “something was wrong with the world. the ship. the world.” “he was touching the same piece of paper she had touched. he placed his palm on top of one of the paper letters, as if to mirror the motions he imagined, pushing down as if he could push through his glove, through the paper, and touch her hand on the other side. his fingerprints overlaid with hers.” 🥺

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    *3.75 Full review to come closer to publication!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight This book has such a unique premise, and certainly delivered! The world is going to end, only it isn't the world we think of. It's essentially a very large spaceship that has basically become its own society, complete with various cities and landscapes and cultures. But it's on its way out, which Myrra, an indentured worker, finds out the night her employers kill themselves, leaving Myrr You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight This book has such a unique premise, and certainly delivered! The world is going to end, only it isn't the world we think of. It's essentially a very large spaceship that has basically become its own society, complete with various cities and landscapes and cultures. But it's on its way out, which Myrra, an indentured worker, finds out the night her employers kill themselves, leaving Myrra behind with their baby and an existential crisis.  Myrra had been facing fifty years of servitude, but is suddenly free- only if she can outrun the law, which will certainly be on her tail. Even more so as she is accompanied by the infant of a very wealthy and influential family. Tobias, meanwhile, is trying to make his mark in law enforcement, since many of his colleagues assume nepotism got him the job. When he's put on the case, his cleverness will stop at nothing to catch Myrra.  As Myrra runs, we get to see much of the world that has been built on this ship. And, we see how reluctant people are, no matter the evidence glaring at them, to accept catastrophic outcomes. It's so very relevant and thought provoking that no matter what Myrra told people, and no matter the events that corroborated her story, people believed what they wanted to believe.  This book is part survival story, as Myrra tries to find a safe place for herself and Charlotte. It's certainly part sci-fi, as the spaceship they live on is potentially to be stranded and unfixable in outer space. It's certainly part apocalyptic, as Myrra has inside information about the end of days. And it's incredibly emotional and character driven, with so much heart. And it begs the question, what would you do if your world was imminently ending? How would any human being react?  Bottom Line: Beautifully written and exquisitely emotional, The World Gives Way is a unique, genre-bending novel that I won't soon forget.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amanda K

    What would you do if you knew the world would end soon? That's the central question The World Gives Way explores through Myrra Dal and her found family in this fast-paced yet philosophical novel. No spoilers, but it's not gloom, doom and rioting. Levien taps into the human motivations that drive us all, whether we're on a world or a ship big enough to seem like one. Thanks to Orbit/Redhook for the ARC, all opinions are my own. What would you do if you knew the world would end soon? That's the central question The World Gives Way explores through Myrra Dal and her found family in this fast-paced yet philosophical novel. No spoilers, but it's not gloom, doom and rioting. Levien taps into the human motivations that drive us all, whether we're on a world or a ship big enough to seem like one. Thanks to Orbit/Redhook for the ARC, all opinions are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    This book wasn't for me. Admittedly I am in a bit of a reading slump. I'm not averse to the young female protagonist but this one felt a bit too young. Going off the first 70 pages it just didn't feel like a character or set up I wanted to continue with. DNF. This book wasn't for me. Admittedly I am in a bit of a reading slump. I'm not averse to the young female protagonist but this one felt a bit too young. Going off the first 70 pages it just didn't feel like a character or set up I wanted to continue with. DNF.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kit Ledvina

    Without giving anything away, “The World Gives Way” describes the intersection of the lives of two strangers at the end of the world. Overall I really enjoyed this book. The characters’ plight forced me to think about what truly matters and consider the implications of the destruction of the vulnerable environment that we all live in. One thing I really enjoyed about this book was the cinematic descriptions. I could clearly visualize this as a film or tv series. I know it’s a trope that “The boo Without giving anything away, “The World Gives Way” describes the intersection of the lives of two strangers at the end of the world. Overall I really enjoyed this book. The characters’ plight forced me to think about what truly matters and consider the implications of the destruction of the vulnerable environment that we all live in. One thing I really enjoyed about this book was the cinematic descriptions. I could clearly visualize this as a film or tv series. I know it’s a trope that “The book was better” when talking about adaptations but in this case, I would likely disagree. As a person who primarily reads for character depth, I was disappointed in the predictability and lack of nuance the characters displayed but was compelled to the end by the engaging plot. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ALC. Full review available at: www.bestofkit.com

  23. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Fink

    Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillian Audio for a copy in exchange for an honest review! This is unlike any dystopian novel I've ever read before. A lot of dystopian novels are about rivalry against the government, action-packed, filled with violence, death, and a lot of other action-packed events. This was definitely one of the slower dystopian novels I have read, which was more about the experience of reading it and less about the plot and action. The book started off very strongly with jumping Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillian Audio for a copy in exchange for an honest review! This is unlike any dystopian novel I've ever read before. A lot of dystopian novels are about rivalry against the government, action-packed, filled with violence, death, and a lot of other action-packed events. This was definitely one of the slower dystopian novels I have read, which was more about the experience of reading it and less about the plot and action. The book started off very strongly with jumping right into Myrra finding her boss’s seconds away from dying and leaving her with the secret that will end the world and their infant daughter. Mira takes this opportunity 2 leave the grueling contract that she's been under and take her boss's daughter leaving everything behind. she really didn't have a destination or it wasn't well portrayed what her goal was she just kind of seems to be wandering aimlessly. The book also follows an officer who is put in charge of finding Myrra because she broke her contract, could possibly have been involved in the death of her bosses and the kidnapping of a child. The start of the book does well in introducing the world. In a lot of other dystopian books you just have to continue to read and slowly gather information but this book comes right out in the beginning and sets the world up. Even though the book starts out in the world building there really isn't a lot of information to go on. this is because all the information is practically given at the start but throughout the book, you really don't know a lot about the world. It wasn't the best world-building. There were a lot of things thrown in that you had no idea were even a part of this dystopian future. There was no context or build-up to a lot of the environment around them. To be honest this book neither had good worldbuilding, character building, or plot building There was no end goal to the story. We just follow them as they wait for the world to end nothing really more happening. For half of the book, Tobias is trying to find Myrra, but after that happens there isn't anything you're waiting for to happen, except the end. I found a lot of a book pretty pointless not a lot of action happens in the book it's mainly about just slowly revealing their step-by-step actions and contains a lot of details and random rambling on about their feelings, their past, and a lot of other things that didn't really add a lot to the story The narration was almost like poetry. The narrator had a very soft-spoken voice with not a lot of emphasis. So it was nice listening to the voice. It was soothing to listen to, but because there wasn't a lot of dramatic changing in the volume or tone of the voice to show the seriousness of some of the situations, I did find my mind wandering a little bit. My mind wandering wasn't just because of the narration but mainly had to do with the book and long sections of details and explanations without dialogue and action. One thing I did enjoy was that the relationships grown between different characters were not forced. The relationships that were developed were natural and you could see the slow progression. The story didn't push their relationship past what was natural for it to occur. The ending may be very disappointing to a lot of people but for me, I feel like it fit the book very well. Just like the rest of the book, it was very gradual and slow, stirring the deep inner emotion with the readers. It wasn't a shocking sterling ending, but one that you could see was slowly building towards throughout the whole book. It was more of a book that you finished and you take a deep breath and think about what you just read because you can find peace in the ending and not a book that you finish and you gasp and yell and throw the book across the room because you can't believe that just happened. I expected a lot more from this book, but it was a nice change of pace than I am used to in these types of stories. Unlike any book of these genres I have read before, which was both good and bad. TW: Suicide

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jack Kelley

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Even as a pretty heavy reader of sci-fi, and as someone who usually enjoys the gritty, mechanical explanations of technology instead of it being overlooked or hand-waved away, The World Gives Way legitimately surprised me. Myrra, our main character, isn’t at all who I thought she’d be. Though it’s slightly hidden in the beginning, as I reread the first chapter to write this review, we’re shown very early on that she isn’t the Cinderella-esque, stereotypical imprisoned maiden desperate for an opp Even as a pretty heavy reader of sci-fi, and as someone who usually enjoys the gritty, mechanical explanations of technology instead of it being overlooked or hand-waved away, The World Gives Way legitimately surprised me. Myrra, our main character, isn’t at all who I thought she’d be. Though it’s slightly hidden in the beginning, as I reread the first chapter to write this review, we’re shown very early on that she isn’t the Cinderella-esque, stereotypical imprisoned maiden desperate for an opportunity to escape her masters and waiting for someone to come save her- no, Myrra went out and found HERSELF a man that she is manipulating over time into giving her both an education and, eventually (hopefully) a way out of her labor contract. I overlooked this when first reading, and was caught off-guard when she later uses and abandons him while trying to escape the police (because it seemed out-of-character), but it turns out upon rereading that Marissa Levien had been slyly characterizing Myrra as the type of person capable of that from the very first pages, I just wasn’t paying enough attention, apparently. As the plot unfolds, and we’re introduced to Tobias (who I never felt a particular affection for and is honestly a bit boringly cookie-cutter as a character when compared to Myrra), Myrra very rarely flounders in her determination to find some hope of salvation for Charlotte. For much of the story, she bears the weight of the ending world almost completely alone, and we’re shown repeatedly the harsh effect this has on her mind and body- I appreciated that this wasn’t pushed into the background, it was a very real struggle. As I mentioned before, I think that Tobias is a weak character, and I don’t think he adds much of value to the story aside from assisting Myrra at some points. I think that the nudges at the blossoming of romantic feelings were forced and rushed, and that they don’t make sense for Myrra’s character, but honestly hints at this are held off long enough that it doesn’t make that much of a difference (and I think that’s a good thing, too). Now, what really surprised me more than anything else in The World Gives Way: That the world actually gives way. It absolutely shocked me when I turned the last page. It is so unbelievably rare for a book like this- hell, any book, let alone a stand-alone novel- to not have the problem be solved by the end. The hull isn’t fixed. There is no escape plan. The ship breaks apart, and everyone dies…and I loved it. It takes guts to do that, to legitimately make the entirety of what we’ve seen up to the end simply vanish, and follow through on the promise made in the title. It defies expectations, and Leviene does a great job of building up this feeling of hope and defiance against the despair of the world ending as time goes on, particularly for Myrra herself as a true survivor. She tells us at the end, though, that hope and defiance can help, but some problems can’t be fixed, and the only thing you can do is hold on to what you can before it all goes away. Some people might not like that ending or message, but I was astonished by it and commend the author for following through. Some issues were in Tobias, the unexplored horrors of the what the contract labor system would actually be like, and the ridiculous contrivance that is building a generation ship in the way that the book’s setting is built- although on that last point, I guess it makes sense considering the history we’re given on how rich and entitled the first passengers who funded the ship were, and the fact it breaks down anyway, maybe there’s another lesson in that somewhere? I don’t know. Regardless, I enjoyed The World Gives Way much more than I thought I would. (P.S. Claire Holroyde, if you’re reading this, thanks for putting this and some others on my radar on Goodreads!) 4/5 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Luanne Ollivier

    I am fascinated with the imaginings of what Earth might look like in the future. Marissa Levien has come up with her own spin on in her new novel, The World Gives Way. "In fifty years, Myrra will be free." Myrra Dal was born into a 'contract', as were generations before her. But in fifty years, her servitude will be done and the Earth will have made it to a safe place. For you see, Earth has been recreated on a massive scale - as a ship. They've been travelling for over one hundred years already. I am fascinated with the imaginings of what Earth might look like in the future. Marissa Levien has come up with her own spin on in her new novel, The World Gives Way. "In fifty years, Myrra will be free." Myrra Dal was born into a 'contract', as were generations before her. But in fifty years, her servitude will be done and the Earth will have made it to a safe place. For you see, Earth has been recreated on a massive scale - as a ship. They've been travelling for over one hundred years already. The earth as we know it is just a memory, with some artifacts still around. (Interestingly wood is one of those artifacts. At today's Covid prices, we might be heading there!) Levien's world building is quite beautiful, with every country having added their bit of the world, the ship. But it is built for the elite, the wealthy. Then, the unthinkable happens and everything changes for Myrra, and she grabs the unexpected opportunity. The reader is along for the journey as she runs from her current situation to what is hopefully a safe haven. I initially thought The World Gives Way would be more dystopian, more sci-fi. It is, but the human connections are what drives this book forward and take center stage. There are two main characters - Myrra and Tobias, the agent chasing her. Expectations and duty start to take a backseat to real human emotions, desires, wants, hopes and more. Levien is a beautiful writer. The descriptions of time and space are vivid and bring the world, the ship to life. But again, it is that exploration of what it is to be human, to feel and to just be that really drew me in. She captures the uncertainty and then the freedom of just living through her two leads. The ending? Not what I imagined, but exactly right. The World Gives Way is a slow burning, strong debut.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura (crofteereader)

    This was very... Hmm. Well, it's not a hopeful book by any means. And I don't think that's what I was expecting (from the brightly colored cover to teasing mentions of freedom in the synopsis) but it also felt undeniably realistic in that way too. I like that we don't see some last-ditch surprise that goes against reality and the tone as we know it up to this point. And indeed, there's something beautiful about the way Myrra embraces what she has, her life as it has been, and where she came from This was very... Hmm. Well, it's not a hopeful book by any means. And I don't think that's what I was expecting (from the brightly colored cover to teasing mentions of freedom in the synopsis) but it also felt undeniably realistic in that way too. I like that we don't see some last-ditch surprise that goes against reality and the tone as we know it up to this point. And indeed, there's something beautiful about the way Myrra embraces what she has, her life as it has been, and where she came from. The other thing that's very much worth noting is a plethora of very strange yet arresting images that we get amidst dreams of disaster. Levien so brilliantly follows the spiral of someone's imagination, whether it's entirely logical or not. One of my favorites is from very early on when a character is trying to come to grips with the idea of being sucked out into space and thinking that the water in her eyeballs might freeze and shatter, sending glittering shards into the black. Obviously that's not how that would go, but the idea is that this character's panic is sinking deep claws into her imagination and spinning images of terrifying and illogical things in the wake of uncertainty. And that looming uncertainty shows us so much about our characters and the other people they see. How people want to be anywhere but where they are, how panic feasts on infrastructure and morality, how the rich vs poor react. It's not a light or easy read, and there were a few connections I think I missed along the way, plus the idea of intimacy automatically leading to romantic/sexual relationship/attraction... But I devoured it anyway. And I enjoyed the ride. CW: suicide (on page) {Thank you Orbit Books for the complementary copy in exchange for my honest review; all thoughts are my own}

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    You like dystopias ? You like poetic stories ? Then look no further, The World Gives Way is the book for you. I got in the book for the dystopian aspect, and stayed for the depth of Myrra and Tobias, the main characters. After her owners tell Myrra the ship on which all that's left of humanity is breached, and that nothing can be done about it, she is surprised. And then they kill themselves, leaving their babies in the care of Myrra. Now she's gone from surprised to panicked. How can this be rea You like dystopias ? You like poetic stories ? Then look no further, The World Gives Way is the book for you. I got in the book for the dystopian aspect, and stayed for the depth of Myrra and Tobias, the main characters. After her owners tell Myrra the ship on which all that's left of humanity is breached, and that nothing can be done about it, she is surprised. And then they kill themselves, leaving their babies in the care of Myrra. Now she's gone from surprised to panicked. How can this be real? But why would they have committed suicide if it wasn't true? Then, Myrra runs. She can't be found with dead bodies. She is now free, with Charlotte, the baby, and she must try making the most of her final days while escaping the security agents sent after her... And maybe find a way to escape all of this? I really liked the concept of world-ending. It's a trope I really enjoy, and this one did not disappoint. I loved Myrra and Charlotte instantly! Myrra is one of the few people who knows the world is going to end, and she immediately decides to take the rest of her life in her own hands, after having been enslaved her whole life. Throughout her journey to escape her pursuers, she gets to see the many places she had only ever heard of. We basically tour the ship with her, and that was really enjoyable to read about all those incredible places. It kind of felt like exploring a map in a video game! So cool! I'm not sure if this is a spoiler, but just in case, here is a thought that might be a little spoilery, so you can jump to the paragraph after this : (view spoiler)[This book also surprised me in that I expected a dystopia in which Myrra tries to figure out how to escape from the breaking ship. But this is not what you should look for here. This is more of a human tale. The inner works of the mind when you know you're going to die, and you have to process it. What do you do? Who do you want to be with? What do you make of your life when you know it's going to end soon? Therefore, the book is a beautiful, almost poetic tale of humanity. Sure, there is action, there is a chase between Tobias, security agent with many insecurities, and Myrra, slave on the run with a baby. (hide spoiler)] Tobias and Myrra have a great dynamic. They weren't all I thought they would be, but the writing surprised me in a good way. Baby Charlotte is also so important here. The bond between her and Myrra is very poignant, and it made my heart swell so much. While Myrra and Charlotte were on the run, Tobias is chasing them. But not just that. He tries to understand Myrra, the reasons she might have killed her owners and kidnapped the baby. Throughout this process Tobias grows a lot as well, and seeing him mature and gain confidence was so fantastic to read! In the end, those three characters gained my love effortlessly and wandered through this ending world with us readers, embodying the red string of this poetic tale of humanity. I really think this is a hidden gem, and I hope many of you will get to read it and fall in love with both the plot and the characters <3

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wade Harrison

    If a novel of an apocalypse can be written sweetly and lovingly, this is it. The setting, oddly, is a giant beautifully-designed Switzerland-sized spacecraft with land, water, skies, cities, and gravity inside it. This craft is a lifeboat, intended to feel a lot like Earth, which is ferrying what may be all that's left of humanity from Earth to another star system on a voyage that will take at least 3 generations. The events that led to the voyage, and the technologies that enable it, are glosse If a novel of an apocalypse can be written sweetly and lovingly, this is it. The setting, oddly, is a giant beautifully-designed Switzerland-sized spacecraft with land, water, skies, cities, and gravity inside it. This craft is a lifeboat, intended to feel a lot like Earth, which is ferrying what may be all that's left of humanity from Earth to another star system on a voyage that will take at least 3 generations. The events that led to the voyage, and the technologies that enable it, are glossed over; the characters in the story are simply people going about their lives in the only world they've every known, dimly aware of the true nature of their world, that their parents or grandparents created it, and that their children or grandchildren will inhabit the new world of their destination. But the characters' knowledge of the technology and the physics and the journey are no more than the average person today is aware of basic astronomy, engineering, or city planning. The focus of the story is on this handful of people, born on this ship-world, and how they react to the prospect that this world of theirs, and their lives, might be suddenly ending in a catastrophe. Another important plot element is the stratification of society on the ship-world, with a capitalist, techno-comfortable, multi-cultural middle/upper class enjoying a life much like mine and probably yours, but also a worker-class who are basically indentured servants with very few human rights, living and often suffering in a system created by people long gone. And of course there is a security force that can help to keep these "contract workers" in their assigned places. The characters include realistic people, largely good people, in all these roles, whether privileged or indentured, faced with a crisis they are only barely equipped to comprehend, much less avert. Hard not to compare this story to On The Beach by Nevil Shute, but I read that way too long ago to do so fairly. I enjoyed this story very much, and found it somehow uplifting, perhaps because the focus is on the power of small things in life (if intimacy and companionship can be called "small") in the face of big things like space travel, cosmology, geopolitics and even social justice, all of which are there in the background, and are things I usually enjoy reading novels about.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Di Richardson

    I really thought this book had a good premise. Myrna is a you g woman born into servitude. Her contract will be up when she turns 50. She is currently working in the home of a very wealthy family. One evening, something wakes her, and she goes to find the mistress of the house about to jump off a wall (?) and kill herself. The only thing stopping her is she is holding her infant daughter, and she can’t quite do that to her baby. She eventually hands the baby over to Myrra’s care, and explains to I really thought this book had a good premise. Myrna is a you g woman born into servitude. Her contract will be up when she turns 50. She is currently working in the home of a very wealthy family. One evening, something wakes her, and she goes to find the mistress of the house about to jump off a wall (?) and kill herself. The only thing stopping her is she is holding her infant daughter, and she can’t quite do that to her baby. She eventually hands the baby over to Myrra’s care, and explains to her that their world, which is actually a ship, is about to come apart, but the government has decided to keep it a secret. She and her husband have decided to control their deaths rather than be sucked out to space. Myrra knows no one will believe that her “employers” have killed themselves, and that she will be blamed. So she takes the baby and goes on the run. But really, where are you going to go? And that’s sort of how I felt about this story. I guess some of the characters learned more about themselves along the way, but ultimately, I didn’t feel like the story had anywhere to go either.

  30. 5 out of 5

    BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)

    I really thought this was going to be a different story in a lot of ways. I was expecting more dystopian/sci-fi action, and it was all there, but it was different. I feel like when I dig down, this book was about finding people to connect with. I enjoyed the story, and the cat and mouse storyline, but towards the end, this detoured into what felt like a new storyline. I ultimately enjoyed that as well, it took me a bit by surprise though. I think that readers that enjoy a story with a foundation I really thought this was going to be a different story in a lot of ways. I was expecting more dystopian/sci-fi action, and it was all there, but it was different. I feel like when I dig down, this book was about finding people to connect with. I enjoyed the story, and the cat and mouse storyline, but towards the end, this detoured into what felt like a new storyline. I ultimately enjoyed that as well, it took me a bit by surprise though. I think that readers that enjoy a story with a foundation in character relationships and a mix of sci-fi/futuristic timelines, will enjoy this one!

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