Alexandra Duncan. Greenwillow, $17.99 (528p) ISBN 978-0-06-222014-1
Duncan makes an excellent debut with a novel that's part feminist polemic and part coming-of-age adventure. In a space-faring future, supply ship "crewes" have developed into patriarchal tribes, with strict gender roles and a mythology to justify them: "Women of the air, stay aloft," the girls of the vessel Parastrata are warned. Ava is considered to be deviant for several reasons: she is of suspect Earthly descent, and she has a knack for both math and mechanical engineering, disciplines that are forbidden to women on her ship. After further transgressing Parastrata's laws through a romantic encounter, she is cast out into the Void. With a fierce desire to survive and with the help of a female spaceship captain named Perpétue, Ava escapes space for the deadly gravity of Earth, where she eventually discovers emotional, sexual, and intellectual liberation. Duncan's thoroughly realized setting and subtle control of Ava's voice result in a powerfully immersive story that uses its far-future SF premise to thoughtfully explore gender politics. Ages 13–up. Agent: Kate Testerman, KT Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/19/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Genre: Children's
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-229990-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4830-0660-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4830-0659-8
Ebook - 544 pages - 978-0-06-222016-5
Paperback - 544 pages - 978-0-06-222015-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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