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FICTION

Goddess in the ­Machine

Razorbill. Jun. 2020. 400p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781984835925.
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Gr 8 Up–When Andra awakes after 1,000 years of cryonic sleep, she has a lot of catching up to do. She was supposed to end up with her family on an Earth-like planet orbiting Andromeda; instead, she awakes to a desert planet awash with dust, corrupted nanobots, and a rogue prince named Zhade who’s willing to use her to reclaim a throne that is rightfully his. The problem is that the current King doesn’t want to give up the throne, and he has the tech to make it nearly impossible for Zhade to carry out his plan—a plan that involves Andra, the “Third Goddess,” whether she likes it or not. Here’s an intriguing story filled with politics, science fiction, and romance, and which offers twists and turns galore, right up to the last page. Andra and Zhade are compelling characters with a believably fraught romance that may turn out badly for both—requiring readers to discern that sometimes what’s best for everyone isn’t best for you personally.
VERDICT Reminiscent of Moira Young’s “Dustlands” series, this novel by debut author Johnson is a must-purchase for all YA science fiction collections. Highly recommended.

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