The first Awesome Book You Should Be Reading of 2016 is the phenomenal YA science fiction book Fourth World by the lovely Lyssa Chiavari. As happens with me, I am least eloquent when talking about books I really, really loved. What usually comes out is just a bunch of high-pitched squealing. But I will try to write a real, actual review. 😉
This book takes on so many awesome things at once – colonies on Mars, dystopian governments, an almost entirely-POC cast, space archaeology, time travel, LGBT characters – that you worry, at first, that it’s taken on too much. Maybe this is just too many cool things in one book, it’ll turn out to be all gimmicks and no substance.
This book fires perfectly on all cylinders.
It’s a crazy adventure ride through two dystopian worlds, fighting against two crazy governments, using all kinds of amazing technology (3D printing, gene splicing, a computer that fuses with your thoughts), and interlaced throughout with the kind of Very Real teenager stuff all kids deal with (working up the courage to kiss a girl you like, being weirded out by a kiss and being unsure what it means, dealing with overbearing [and/or absent] parents).
There were at least three times in the book when I sat up straight in my chair and shouted “OMG! NO!” at my kindle app. And at least twice that I made awful giggling noises while hiding under a pillow.
The world-building is solid, the characters are real, and the story is exhilirating. This book is nonstop awesome all the way through. If I didn’t love it so much, I might have more coherent things to say about it besides just, “Read this book!”
It’s perfect for people looking for a fantastic YA sci-fi read that does not in any way devolve into love triangles and One True Love seeking. This book is all about the action, the adventure, and the government conspiracies. And it does it all spectacularly well.