Satellite by Nick Lake
PUBLISHER: Hodder Children’s Books
PUBLICATION DATE: October 2017
RATING: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
A teenage boy born in space makes his first trip to Earth.
He’s going to a place he’s never been before: home.
Moon 2 is a space station that orbits approximately 250 miles above Earth. It travels 17,500 miles an hour, making one full orbit every ninety minutes. It’s also the only home that fifteen-year-old Leo and two other teens have ever known.
Born and raised on Moon 2, Leo and the twins, Orion and Libra, are finally old enough and strong enough to endure the dangerous trip to Earth. They’ve been “parented” by teams of astronauts since birth and have run countless drills to ready themselves for every conceivable difficulty they might face on the flight.
But has anything really prepared them for life on terra firma? Because while the planet may be home to billions of people, living there is more treacherous than Leo and his friends could ever have imagined, and their very survival will mean defying impossible odds.
So I was sent an arc of this novel to review, however this book was already released when I got sent it. So this isn’t a promotion or part of a campaign; the only campaign it’s a part of is me on a one woman mission to get all of you to read Satellite.
On the inside cover, it’s advertised as The Martian for teenagers, and while I haven’t read The Martian, that didn’t fill me with much hope that I was going to like it. Moreover, you open the page and see that the prose is written more in text speak (which is, apparently, the way they message each other in NASA but don’t quote me on that). I saw a lot of people complaining about that and why they couldn’t read the book because of it, some even giving it two stars just because of that! But literally after the first two pages, I got used to it. If you’ve ever been a teenager, you’ve probably texted like that. I used to read whole MSN conversations written in that format. It took a moment, but fourteen year old Hollie sprang to life and got the hang of it pretty quickly. So, if you start reading Satellite and are at first put off by the text, keep going! Otherwise you’re gonna miss out on an incredible story about a boy who’s discovering Earth after being born and living on a space station all his life.
The world in Satellite is not like our own, but I strongly feel that it is something we are progressing and also hurtling dangerously towards. The way in which Nick Lake has written this society is so realistic and a world that we could find ourselves in pretty soon; the good and the bad. Firstly, as good progression, society has moved to dismantle gender norms and roles. I think we’re already on that glorious road, but we are nowhere near the complete abandonment of it, and that’s not the case either in Satellite. But in this society, clothes, makeup, hairstyles etc are less gendered, so it was great to see a ‘futuristic’ society that relates more to our future. This was just one aspect of why I loved this novel, but it was definitely one I couldn’t ignore in my review. There are, of course, downsides to looking at society in the future; things that are dooming out planet. But I’m not going to talk about those because I don’t want spoil the story!
Above all, Satellite is about Leo discovering what home means to him. He’s a kid in extremely unique situation, with experiences that are nothing like anything on Earth (literally), and it was sad and funny and above all, really beautiful to read. I don’t think I ever saw anyone talking about it until I started to when it came through the post box. Satellite is out now!
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