Chimera is a colony ship that transported colonist from earth over 200 years before, put in stasis orbiting the planet to watch over them until their lives are in danger. The time to wake up is now, as the last exchange ship bringing necessary supplies from earth was over 15 years ago. Theo, a 16 year old hacker with a gift for speaking to machines, and 15 year old Selena, a brash but talented pilot with a dark secret in her past are the colonies only hope to bring them aid.
I had problems with this book. The training was outrageous to be outrageous, the rival was psychotic to be psychotic, the girl was stupid to be stupid, you are getting a pattern here right… Everything was an extreme to try to get the most punch and ended up being a strangled cat instead. Life is more nuanced than that so this definitely read like a heavy handed young adult sci-fi rather than a sci-fi with young protagonists. Which is kind of sad, I think the potential for this premise, while kind of typical was huge.
Personally I love stories with training and going through a tough time to become stronger for a big life changing event. I also love stories about kids going into space and helping save humanity. So the premise was really rocking it for me. I think all things said this was a good rendition of this kind of story. I liked it even though things got extreme in an unbelievable way at times.
What made the story to me was Theo’s narrative. While I liked Selena (despite her rank stupidity at times) her story was too obvious. I knew the outcome with her from the get go. Theo though was a lovely nuanced character. And while I can’t see holding hands with a psychotic murderer at any time being a good thing, Theo made it believable. His narrative sold the entire story. Its his interaction with Selena and the exchange ship that made the ending for me. Obviously it was a male who wrote this perspective. There was just layers of personality and an immediacy to his actions that felt like it was drawn from real life. I loved that they spent some time showing us about both characters instead of just telling us everything. This helped Selena’s perspective especially because while she was a trope, she still felt like she was standing on her own feet.
BOTTOM LINE: Dystopian Off World Colony Ship…what’s not to like!?