By Tishaun Dawson
The book begins with Sanaa’s emotionally moving scenes and her conscription to the space fleet, leaving behind her husband. Not long afterward, Sanaa’s departure from earth takes a sinister turn as the vessel suffers a severe accident. The author portrays this event’s gripping emotion, bringing Sanaa’s deep emotional fears over the loss of her husband to the surface as she is faced with the incredible challenge of surviving in an alien world.
The author’s descriptive prowess enhances the sense of her alienation from home by describing how small Sanaa is compared to the alien vegetation. But the real danger doesn’t come from the plants or animals – she is captured and put in a strange building. Faced not only by this challenge but also by her rapidly depleting oxygen, Sanaa’s only hope comes from a tiny creature she names Bubu.
The pair find a ship and other captives to rescue, but Sanaa’s problems don’t end there. She has to get the other passengers into the new vessel, learn to pilot it, and rejoin the fleet.
But there is a terrible twist here – by the time Sanaa rejoins the fleet, the war has already ended in a rapid and unexpected defeat. This event again highlights Sanaa’s loneliness and how small she feels in this in the grand conflict. Could she still save her husband? Or was he doomed? Slowly her mood drifts to anger, and this aggression motivates her to save the planet.
Sanaa finds an alien ship capable of communication and tries to discover the identity of the mysterious ‘founders.’ Eventually, she manages to pilot the ship, leading her to a horrifying scene of carnage and an even more horrifying revelation. The aliens are entirely different from what Sanaa had expected and are part of a shocking conspiracy…