Devastation Class

Blink. Sept. 2020. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780310769002.
Gr 8 Up–A thriller reminiscent of Star Trek, this is set in the far future when humans, nearing extinction as a species, hurtle through space fighting alien enemies. Humans are threatened by an alien race called the Kastazi. Teen protagonists JD Marshall and Viv Nixon are overshadowed by the deeds of their famous parents, but they hope to carve out separate identities of their own as cadets on the Alliance Devastation Class starship California. JD and Viv are up-and-coming heroes who are waiting for a chance to prove themselves, and they get that chance when they are forced to mutiny and perform a dangerous teleportation maneuver by activating the ship’s Blink Reactor. The themes of self-discovery and eventual disillusionment with reality are classic ones in YA novels, and they are well-placed here. Much attention is paid to keeping the adrenaline level high and the plot moving, leaving character development slightly lacking. As is usual in science fiction set in the distant future, there is some tech-speak to learn—Zipper and Mongeon build a world where space travel, realistic simulations, teleportation, and conversing with alien beings is the norm. Some secondary characters’ hair color is noted, but JD and Viv’s appearances are notably never described. Readers will not be surprised to learn that the movie rights for this novel have already been sold.
VERDICT A futuristic adventure that packs in the action but may leave fans feeling flat; recommended for teen Trekkies looking for something fast and furious.

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