‘Even gifted youngsters are not immune to the dark shadows… of adolescence’
Author Jesse Carr MD appears to be offering a debut novel geared toward teens and young adults – a science fiction fantasy that is an impressive introduction to a new writer.
Very wisely Carr opens this short novel by introducing the chief character Caitlyn who, from the indications at the end of the story, will be visiting us in a series. ‘It had been a quiet and cold day and not an ideal situation for a mountain climb; however, Caitlyn managed to convince her sister Abilene to tag along for her final team-leading task, to find and recover a security drone. She deemed Abilene’s assistance critical for the mission’s successful completion. Abilene reluctantly agreed, and their journey officially started. The identical twins, Caitlyn and Abilene, covered a lot of ground with the other members of the crew. It was about a ten-mile hike to the base of the cliffs, where Elliott, the nerdy science genius, located the crash.’
Presto! We are plunged into a fantasy that is so well written that it seems the project is entirely possible – the sign of a talented sci-fi author. Carr’s synopsis not only gels the outline of the plot, but also hints at the very contemporary view of the current vantage of science and politics! ‘The world is not in immediate danger of annihilation. However, after two terms of a Trump presidency, the neglect of our planet, the promotion of fossil fuels, and the ongoing climate change; something must be done to preserve our species and our way of life. In 2025, the Colony XO team has a potential solution to this crisis and has planned a mission to establish human colonies on a new world (exoplanet). NASA’s space-based Kepler Telescope has discovered three, potentially inhabitable exoplanets in the Cygnus Constellation. Colony XO features the story of Caitlyn and her band of teenage colonists who went alone on a Hero’s Journey to a distant exoplanet for the survival of our species and their adolescence.’
Does it work? Yes, on many levels. The language is audience appropriate, the pace is propulsive, and the adventure seems to open avenues for further outings of the Colony XO gang. This novella is a fine beginning for a new author.
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