The Loneliness of Distant Beings continues my quick spree in sci-fi YA literature, after I devoured Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray last month.
This novel is less about the lasers blazing, kill the aliens style science fiction that many of us think of and its certainly very different from Defy the Stars.
Ling introduces us to Seren and the crew of the Ventura, a large ship on a mission to find a new home for a group of humans, a last ditch effort to save the human race – blend the mission of Gravity with the ships of Battlestar Galactica and you’re there.
In order to maintain genetic strength of the last population, crew members have their life partners chosen for them. Seren is no exception, finding herself matched with the son of the captain, Ezra – one of those boys who just knows how pretty and privileged he is. But when Seren meets the beautiful Dom, she cannot help but fall in love. In a society where breaking your assigned partnership is punishable by jail time, Seren and Dom risk everything they know for their young love.
There’s some really interesting stuff in this book. Seren has quite a few mental health problems which are addressed from the outset, exploring the mental state of passengers on lifetime missions with a frankness that I’ve not seen done before in scifi YA.Seren and Dom’s plight feels very real, begging the question of how fair it is for a generation to sacrifice their own happiness for the future of another. Alongside the sense that their lives are not their own, Ling explores the sheer tedium of long haul missions and their implications in crew health and behaviour.
While the instalove was maybe a tad swift, the kissing scenes were hot so I got over it swiftly. Phew.
While I can’t explain too much, the ending dramatically changes things up for the crew of the Ventura and so I’m really interested in seeing this story develop in the sequel The Glow of Fallen Stars which is being released in August (do not read the synopsis until you’ve finished the first book!).
If you’re looking for a swoony space fiction that looks to be building to something really interesting, then The Loneliness of Distant Beings would be a great hit for you.
What to read next:
- Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
- A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
- Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan
Thank you to Little Brown Books for Younger Readers for sending this copy over!