The World Gives Way

Marissa Levien. Redhook, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-0-316-59241-3
How to respond to the knowledge that the world is ending is the central question of Levien’s middling sci-fi debut. Scrappy, intelligent Myrra Dal is a contract laborer on “the world,” a generation ship destined for the planet Telos. Her latest contract is as a maid to the rich and powerful Carlyles and a nanny to their baby, Charlotte. But after both Imogene and Marcus Carlyle kill themselves, Myrra is wrongly suspected of foul play and forced to run from the law, carrying Charlotte and burdened with a terrible secret—there’s a crack in the ship’s hull. Born to criminals but raised by a security officer, Tobias Bendel is desperate to prove himself by catching Myrra, and as he tracks her across cities full of technological marvels, he comes to realize that he’s embroiled in something larger than finding a runaway worker. Told from two engaging if underdeveloped perspectives and full of present-day analogs, this sci-fi adventure is an extended, often oddly meandering chase scene through familiar far-future landscapes. Combining detective work and slow-burn romance, Levien offers plenty for lovers of cross-genre sci-fi to engage with, but seasoned readers will long for more innovation in the worldbuilding. This is solid, but not groundbreaking. Agent: Sarah Bedingfield, Levine Greenberg Rostan. (Jun.)
Reviewed on : 01/19/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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