­Dutton. May 2021. 256p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780735231856.
Gr 9 Up–Pendt Harland has only known life on her family’s generation ship, traveling through space delivering ore and miners. Everyone is born with a magical ability, but when her family discovers that she is a gene-mage she is deemed useless and essentially starved until she can be sold to another ship. When the ship docks at Brannick station, Pendt sees her opportunity to escape and soon meets Ned and Fisher Brannick, the twin brothers running the station. Through some complicated legal maneuvering, they help protect Pendt from her family and she gives Ned the opportunity to join the resistance fighting the empire. But they know that one day Pendt’s family will come back for her. The worldbuilding in this novel is phenomenal. Space opera fans will enjoy the backstory, station features, and technology, though other readers might find it overly descriptive. Pendt develops a loving bond with the brothers, especially after the loneliness and abuse she suffered at the hands of her family, that readers will adore. However, everyone seems a little too happy to the point of it feeling forced and unrealistic. The ending is anti-climatic but hints at a sequel. Characters are cued as white and Fisher is subtly identitfied as trans.
VERDICT Buy if you serve a large population of science fiction readers.

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