Jarra never wanted to be a celebrity. All she ever wanted was to gain some respect for the people left on Earth: the unlucky few whose immune systems prevents them from portalling to other planets. Except now she’s the most famous Earth girl in the universe – but not everyone in the universe is happy about it, nor the fact that she has found love with a norm. Jarra’s actions have repercussions that spread further than she ever could have imagine, and political unrest threatens to tear apart the delicate balance of pace between humanity’s worlds.
Both Earth Girl and Earth Star bowled along at a fair clip – but in this final slice of Jarra’s adventure, Edwards notches up the pace and the story is a real roller-coaster ride. We lose some of Jarra’s introspection from the two previous books as events stack up. Overall, I think it works – and the short stories Edwards has on offer on her site adds some extra background and more detail about some of the supporting characters that people this rich, interesting world.
As for this particular narrative, Jarra’s involvement at such a high level of decision-making occasionally jars, with a couple of places where I would have been a tad more comfortable if someone other than Jarra or Fian had the breakthrough brainwave, but I didn’t find it spoilt my overall pleasure in the story. And the main reason is because Edwards writes with real charm. There is a bouncy can-do energy that crackles off the page more evident in this book, now she is writing with more confidence,.
I like the fact that throughout the whole narrative arc, while Fian and Jarra face all sorts of obstacles they are resolutely loyal to each other – as young lovers often are… Now that Jarra’s chippy resentment is softened by her relationship with Fian, she has an appealing joie de vie conspicuously absent in so many YA protagonists – I cannot recall another heroine whose perpetual giggle is so much in evidence. To the extent that some of her classmates find it annoying…
Which isn’t to say that everything is plain sailing in this action-crammed book – problems heap themselves up in a constant flurry, so that I stayed in bed waaay too late to find out what would happen next. Edwards satisfactorily wraps everything up – to the extent that I did feel that maybe she could have afforded to let a few more supporting characters die. But that meant I finished the book fired up by the positive ending – in these days of dystopian bleakness, a series that leaves me with such a feel-good factor is refreshingly rare. And I’m looking forward to reading whatever Edwards next produces.