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Summary

Terraforming - the megascale-engineering of a planet's surface to one more Earth-like - is now commonplace across the Solar System, and Pluto's is set to be the most ambitious transformation yet. Four billion miles from the Sun and 200 degrees below zero, what this worldlet needs is light and heat. Through captured asteroids and solar mirrors, humanity's finest scientists and engineers are set to deliver them.

What nobody factored in was a saboteur - but who, and why?

From the start, terraformer Lucian is intrigued by nine-year-old Nou, silent since a horrifying incident that shook the base and upended her family into chaos. If he could reach her, perhaps he could understand what happened that day - and what she knows about the secrets of Pluto.

Nou possesses unspoken knowledge that could put a stop to the terraforming. Gripped by her fears, unable to trust her family, there is no one she can talk to. Only through Lucian's gentle friendship will she start to rediscover her voice - and what she has to say could transform our understanding of the Universe.

©2022 Lucy Kissick (P)2022 Orion Publishing Group

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Something different and enjoyable

Tired of only ever being offered yet more war stories dressed up as science fiction, I found this first novel by Lucy Kissick to be a refreshing change. It explores the environmental challenges presented by the possibility of humankind seeking to expand off-earth and to live on other planets and moons in our solar system. What happens if we do find other life, in whatever form? Do we leave it alone or do we seek to destroy it because it gets in the way of our ambitious plans? Pluto is an extreme example and the story follows the efforts of a project team to start the process of terraforming this deeply frozen world. Things go wrong, of course, and there seems to be a saboteur at work; and there is the mysterious fate of the previous leader of the scientific colony already established on Pluto and his children. He has been in a coma, and on life support, for a year; his son is now very hostile to the off-worlders who have come to this planetoid; and his young daughter has been rendered incapable of speech by what occurred. And did she, in fact, find intelligent life? It's a good plot and very well developed over the course of the book. The narrative is a little laboured at times, but I think that can be forgiven in a first novel. I'd be interested to know to what extent the underlying scientific speculation has gone beyond current science fact. But overall a good first novel and I look forward to seeing some more from this author.

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loved it. very engaging

could not put it down 😊, so spent 2 days straight only on this book 🤣. wish there was part 2.