The Deep Sky

Flatiron. Jul. 2023. 416p. ISBN 9781250875334. $29.99. SCIENCE FICTION/THRILLER
DEBUT In this debut science-fiction thriller, the crew on The Phoenix, a ship bound for a new livable planet, have their world (ship) rocked by an explosion that kills several, including the captain. Each of the members of the 80-person crew has a specialty that supports their mission, and the ability to carry a child. Except for Asuka. Asuka, a half-Japanese girl raised in the United States, was always dead last in the training and classes required of those on the journey, and now that she’s on the ship, she continues to struggle to find her place. She is often given the extra jobs that don’t fit anyone else’s specialties, and after the explosion, when it becomes clear that it wasn’t just an accident, she is assigned to investigate. Her investigation leads her to the realization that there’s a saboteur on board, and if she doesn’t find them, the ship won’t make it to the destination and will be lost, not only to the crew’s loved ones on Earth, but to space itself.
VERDICT Readers will be engaged by the mystery and suspense and find familiarity and connection in the humanity of Asuka and the journey of The Phoenix.
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