Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.
But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.
On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.
They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.
M. K. England grew up on the Space Coast of Florida watching shuttle launches from the backyard. These days, they call rural Virginia home, where there are many more cows but a tragic lack of rockets. In between marathon writing sessions, MK can be found drowning in fandom, rolling critical hits at the gaming table, digging in the garden, or feeding their video game addiction. They probably love Star Wars more than you do.
MK is the author of THE DISASTERS (2018), SPELLHACKER (2020), and other forthcoming novels. Follow them at www.mkengland.com.
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[1.5/5 stars] I feel a little mislead by this book.
“Space is hard. Grab a helmet.” <-I don’t know about you, but to me this tagline suggests the Disasters is going to contain a lot of off-planet action scenes. This was very much not the case…
In fact, other than the first chapter, at least 80% of the book takes place on an urban colony practically indistinguishable from a city on earth. There was a lot of running from the authorities and grand schemings for a massive organization takedown, but very little space. This is not a bad thing, per se, but it’s definitely not what I signed up for, and y’all know how much expectations play into my assessment of books.
And that’s not even the whole of it. One cover quote says “a clever, comic thrill ride packed with non-stop action and starring a motley crew that won me over from page 1.” … A motley crew?? These kids were practically prodigy students – highly skilled, brilliant, some clearly hailing from wealthy families…. yeah not exactly what I would consider a motley crew. I spent most of the book wondering at how such preppy students got kicked out of the school in the first place. It just didn’t make any sense.
The final nail in the coffin was that I found most of the book kind of boring. There were a lot of “running from the enemy” scenes, but even then I could feel my interest waning with each chapter. There wasn’t a lot of character exploration, and they all came across a bit superficial.
Perhaps had I not been mislead by this book’s marketing, I would’ve enjoyed it more, but when you sign up for a space book with a motley crew and you end up with a planetside conspiracy story staring last year’s honor students, you feel a little swindled. I genuinely wish I had liked it more.
Recommendations: this book is more for those who like YA conspiracy stories than fans of YA sci-fi. It did not meet my personal expectations enough to endorse, but hopefully I’ll find myself in the minority.
12/19/18: ✰✰✰THE DISASTERS is out in the world!✰✰✰
Thank you so much to everyone who's supported this book. Seeing your reactions has absolutely filled my heart and made my week. So much love to you all. ♥♥♥
I would DEEPLY APPRECIATE it so much if you all could move your goodreads reviews over to Amazon! Once we hit 50 reviews, the book is much more discoverable to new readers on amazon, and if we could hit it by Christmas, that would be AMAZING. Have a fantastic end to your 2018 and a happy new year!
11/5/18: ✰✰✰ THE DISASTERS preorder campaign is live and OPEN INTERNATIONALLY! ✰✰✰
ALL PREORDERS WILL RECEIVE: ★ A bookmark ★ A rainbow rocketship sticker ★ A signed bookplate (If you preorder from Over the Moon, your book will also be hand-signed) ★ A postcard (while supplies last) ★ An emailed PDF with a printable DISASTERS-themed card to give if the book will not arrive in time for you to give it as a gift. Or, you know, just for fun.
75 RANDOM PREORDERS WILL ALSO RECEIVE: ★ A limited edition “Fly!” rocketship enamel pin
ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER WILL RECEIVE: ★ All of the above including the enamel pin ★ A 30-minute Skype conversation to get writing/industry coaching or discuss the book ★ A 4″x4″ spacey painting by me ★ A handwritten letter ★ Annotations and secrets about THE DISASTERS
Email your name, address, and proof of purchase to mkenglandbooks [at] gmail [dot] com.
To see my ARC unboxing, head over to my instagram! If you're a book blogger/booktuber/reviewer, you can request an ARC from my publisher, to be fulfilled this summer, right over here.
Also, a quick note: There were a few typesetting issues with some of the non-English phrases containing diacriticals, so just know we're aware and they'll be correct in the final version!
So thrilled you're going to get to meet my space nerds in LESS THAN A YEAR lahsdfkjashdlfjkah
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"To everyone who’s ever felt like a disaster. Here, have a spaceship! Now fly."
TW: panic attacks, anxiety
Unpopular Opinion Time 🐸☕️
I mean. This book is coming at me, really. I feel personally attacked. This book was tailored specifically for me: outcasts + heist + space + found-family trope??? Wow, rude much? That’s basically what my dreams are made of. And moreover it is also diverse and queer? Did I sell my soul and dint’t even realise it? Im pretty sure I ghost-wrote this book and that I’m writing this Rather Random Review™️ from my grave because this book is made of everything I want in life.
But - Plot twist. Unfortunately, it didn’t really deliver. And yes, the disappointment is real. I was sure I was gonna rave about The Disasters. Instead here I am: bitter and sad and coming with a vengeance ready to rant about it.
My problem with this book wasn’t the setting (very good), and it wasn’t the writing style (simple yet effective and funny, thanks to a very snarky and sarcastic MC). It was literally everything else.
My main problems were the relationships, the characters, the plot and the pace (you see the problem here?)
To be more precise, I couldn’t really understand how the relationships develop, in the first place. For example, I was four chapters in, having a blast. The characters had spent something like literally three hours together and they were already so dependent and their relationship was already settled and strong. Does this sound normal to you? For as much as I’m a sucker for the found-family trope (God only knows how much, tbh) and I’ll forever be a fan of the idea of a group of misfits working together to achieve their goal, I still thought that the relationship developed a bit too rashly and too much out of the blue. They got intimate and touchy and bffs pretty quickly and it just didn’t feel completely natural. But I guess that’s what a near-death experience does to a group of outcasts? Maybe? Still, everything felt rushed and superficial. Like, why were they all friends? I mean, they didn’t even know each other; they didn’t even talk, ffs. And they were all buddy and inseparable in the blink of a freaking eye? Yes, no, thank you very much. Three hours spent together, with little dialogues, and they were willing to die for each other. Okay, whatever floats your boat. I’m not saying that all that is not possible. I’m simply saying that it takes more time; not three hours. That kind of trust and love is built through years, not minutes. I gotta admit: not everything was bad. Indeed, I adored the amount of casual and platonic touches that highlighted their buddy relationship and how they physically leaned on one another for support. Seriously, found-family at its finest 👌🏻 but still. But still. Things were tinted (and ruined) by the very start and I just simply did not get on the train. Basically, the relationships felt unnatural and forced; their chemistry felt forced and not relatable. I was not a fan. And that was a problem since the relations were the main aspect of The Disasters.
The romance itself was both rushed and underdeveloped. So, to put it simply, what the fuck was that shit? For as much as I appreciated the fact that the main character was bi and liked a both guy and a girl…it was still a fucking love triangle, and a ludicrous one to that. Both were miraculously interested in him because, apparently, he has such a pretty face, and he’s so charismatic. *swoon* am I right? Well, no. Not swoony at all. It wasn’t credible, it was rushed, superficial, underdeveloped, trope-y, and just boring, honestly. I could see the love triangle forming from page two because the MC started describing how attractive/cute the two persons he just literally met in a deadly situation were - you know, as one does. I mean, my mate, my dude, my friend. Can’t you focus for a tiny second, try not to die and stop mentioning how adorable someone is? I guess the answer to that is a very strong no, because he didn’t stop. The love triangle cemented and killed me. Too many flirty winks and cheeky grins; I wanted to punch myself in the face. I was not a fan.
Because of these two things, the characters themselves felt incredibly two-dimensional. We didn’t really get the chance to see and understand their relations and their friendship, and we got even less when it came to actual personalities and uniqueness. They all fell short and flat for me. I honestly just rolled my eyes at them throughout the book. We didn’t get to know them. They were just two-dimensional and strangely (and instantly) connected to each other characters. And I’m not about that life. I guess I prefer less physicality and more psychology.
So, as you might have gathered, everything felt fucking rushed. The relationships - as I mentioned- but also the pace, and thus, the plot were developed at the speed of goddamn light. I actually like fast-paced book, don’t get me wrong. But here everything felt too convenient. With that I mean that it was one thing after the other, one adventure after the other, without a moment to breath, and it just did not fully resonate with me. I think that’s specifically because all that action made the plot repetitive. The characters were always running from something (ie. the police) and that was the whole book, tbh. And that was just underwhelming. Which is ridiculous, I know. A super fast-paced and packed story was underwhelming. But, alas, that was the case. This book felt a bit like a joke. One moment they just literally got home after (you guessed it) running away from the authorities and one of them just said something like “we gotta leave in thirty minutes to start another mission” and I just laughed out loud because that was just unrealistic. I understand that you want to keep the stacks as high as you can, but that was just stupid, and it got boring pretty quickly. I just wanted this book to end, tbh.
The ending itself was cheesy and predictable. And we all know how much I love that (hint: not a lot). So it is official: this book has been a disappointment from basically the get-go. What a pity, really. I had high hopes and they definitely were not met.
Overall, I really didn’t enjoy this book, unfortunately :/ For as much as I truly appreciated the diversity (trans character, bi MC, queer characters in general everywhere, POC all the way, hijab-wearing character - the more the merrier, really!) and the various reps (mental health, panic attacks, OCD), I still thought The Disasters fell disastrously short and just simply did not deliver what the amazing premise suggested.
"Yeah, I know. I’m a bit of a disaster. But hey, aren’t we all? Doesn’t mean we can’t fly."
This book has all the fun things in it: quirky characters, diversity that doesn’t make a big deal out of diversity, great witty banter, adventure galore, great world building, and it feels like Firefly meets Guardians of the Galaxy. Really hard to put down.
The main character, Nax, has an incredibly original voice, and is extremely relatable. When he and the other rejects of the Space Academy are in a transport back to Earth, they witness a huge crime and are chased by the perpetrators who try to make sure the truth doesn’t get out. What follows is a great heist, crash landings on colonies that have well developed cultures and a crazy ride through space to stop mayhem. I’m not even a huge space sci-fi reader, but this had me glued from page one.
Loved every second of it, and can’t wait to read more by this incredible new author. I feel bad for the public who has to wait until December 2018 to buy it! Thanks to MK England for the ARC!
* SPACE ADVENTURES!!! * a lovable band of misfits, thrown together by circumstance, but they’re the best the universe has so like… yolo? * the diversity was… my gosh… so SO ON POINT - the cast is made primarily of POC characters, the main character is bi (his love interest is gay), honestly, it was a joy * there’s a heist and I love heists with every fiber of my soul * fun, engaging writing - easy to read and genuinely funny at times * it’s fast paced, there’s lots of action and it kept me invested until the last page * honestly, it’s just plain FUN and if you love space and shenanigans and adventure and a diverse cast of characters, this is the book for you
* the beginning felt a bit of a mess, until I actually understood what was going on * some plot things didn’t really make all that much sense to me, but I was willing to let that go
YAY or NAY: yesssssss, definitely pick this up, it’s a hoot!
“Every cell of my body says, ‘Oh god yes! Crime? I can do some crime!’ I want this ship like I’ve never wanted anything in my life. I had a poster of the first-ever Breakbolt model on my bedroom wall when I was nine. It’s like a manifestation of every dream I’ve ever had, everything I’ve ever wanted for myself: a piloting license, a beautiful ship under me, and stars out the viewport. Child Nax says, ‘Do it, do the crime!”
“Yeah, I know, I’m a bit of a disaster. But hey, aren’t we all? Doesn’t mean we can’t fly.”
To everyone who got this far, thank you for reading and have a wonderful day! Also, feel free to share your thoughts, comment or tell me anything :)
The Disasters begins with pilot wannabe Nax getting rejected from the Academy. He's always wanted to be a pilot and to go explore the colonies that have been established a hundred years ago and the Academy is the only way to do it. His one-way trip back to Earth is ruined (along with three other washouts) when the station gets attacked, and they barely make it out. As the only witnesses to the murder of thousands, they are the perfect scapegoats, and are sent on the run for something they didn't do. With no other choices, they have to pull off a dangerous heist and not get captured by police along the way.
Uhhhh no. I was originally going to give this book more stars after I read it but the more I think about it and the problems that bothered me, the more I hate it. I went into this so excited and I tried so hard to like it but I just can't. It sucks how things work out but it happens. In theory this should have been everything I loved. Sci-fi, space adventures, and bands of misfits getting stuck in a situation where they have to step up and save the world. This book is really none of that. It tries so hard to be something but it can't get there.
This world-building is pretty lazy. Things just kind of are, and aren't really explained. We have our Ellis Station on the moon with the Academy and the emigration to the other colonies. There are a few dumb rules they have, and it's ridiculous. This station is a massive hub from Earth to beyond. Apparently this Academy is the only academy of the kind. Even though this is a massive hub with thousands of people and is super important, there are no fail-safes, there is nothing to easily stop a random group from sabotaging it and literally killing thousands in under two minutes. Sorry, what? The super important hub... has nothing to protect it? No one even has a suit in there or a breathing mask? You're telling me it's THAT easy? I'm sorry but I'm not buying it. This is a hundred years in the future, we have established and colonized different planets in another galaxy but no. Flip a switch to cut off the oxygen and let the bodies hit the floor I guess.
This book lied to me. It's sold as a space adventure, even the tagline tells you. The sci-fi in this book was very, very light. The majority of this book takes place on the ground, it's a different planet but it's still the ground very similar to our ground. They spend almost the entire time either running from police, or sitting and talking out a plan / doing basic things like sleeping and eating. Once they leave the first planet they are on, they quickly land on another. The characters also get into an Earth conspiracy theory too, and that entire plot was just hilarious to me because really? It felt like half of the things they end up doing were just loosely tied together anyway. Change the tagline to "space is easy, we don't need a helmet because we're on a colonized planet."
Misfits? Where? Everyone in this group is several different kinds of badass and useful. Sure they have some personal hangups that get in the way sometimes but they were all jocks who kicked ass and did every single thing perfectly. While I enjoyed that it was extremely diverse, it seemed like more time was spent on that instead of making them fleshed out characters. Insta-love triangle too that while I didn't totally hate it, it was still rushed.
I'm disappointed, pretty angry, and I just want the space opera I was promised.
These people have their shit surprisingly together when faced with imminent doom. How the hell did they end up as washouts?
THE DISASTERS was far from a disaster. Good, got it out of my system, and now we can all move on from that joke.
"Anyone have any better ideas? Useful diversion tactics?" "I've been told I'm a hell of a dancer. You find me a table, I'll create a diversion you won't forget."
England's YA sci-fi adventure debut speeds forth at the speed of light. This book moves quick, y'all. But for the most part nothing is lost along the way. We have a pretty well explained setting, including all the various worlds that make up it, including politics, and the conflict actually has some real-life parallels that make it easy to understand. And that's not even including the fun part : the fact that the world(s) is saved by the four teens that the Ellis Station Academy just flunked out. They aren't exactly the losers I thought they would be, they are all either incredibly smart or incredibly talented, but for one reason or another.. they didn't fit. Throw in a shit ton of diversity, queer and mental health rep, quippy banter, at least one Firefly/Serenity reference, and you have yourself a party.
I ram my fist between my assailant's legs. Shit. No balls. I'm screwed.
My only complaints are that I might have preferred multiple POVs for this one (instead it's only Nax's), maybe a little less rushing through some of the plot or scenes as I did find myself trying to find my bearings at one point or another, and I thought the build-up to Nax's big angsty/disastrous backstory.. didn't really live upto the hype. But everything else was fun, flirty, funny, and oh how I hope it's a standalone. England has left a few threads loose for a possible follow-up but also given us a pretty solid ending. And I kinda like where it's at. There isn't a romance but there are interests and I was delighted by how it unfolded.. or, again, how I like to think it did.
"Okay, everyone. Look. I know we're in a shit situation but this silent angst thing isn't going to help."
Quite impressed by this debut author and, as always, I'm loving the amount of YA sci-fi being churned out these days.. I never want this trend to stop.
3.75 "crime on an empty stomach seems like a bad idea" stars
** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Loved loved loved the worldbuilding, the humor, and the way this cast of characters came together for Justice (and money) to save the day. England cleverly negotiated a number of space opera questions (such as: would people who leave Earth for another planet ever be allowed to return, or would we quarantine them off world for fear of contamination?) that I've always wondered about in the Star Trek universe. It was just fast, pure fun from start to finish, and if you like your science fiction with a lot of humor you'll probably enjoy this intergalactic romp.
I'd be interested to see what people think of the Muslim rep, as that's not my area, but it felt nuanced to me--having multiple practicing characters helped with that.
I don't have a clue how to rate this. I didn't feel anything towards the characters to be honest. Everything way too well and easy for them when it was clear that they should fail with the first task. Way too unbelievable. Felt staged. Also everything the characters said was sooo cheesy and acted out it felt so unrealistic and just made the distance I felt towards them greater.
They were constantly running from authorities which got lame after a while and everything revolved around their sexuality or religion. Sure it was diverse, but otherwise the characters were rather flat.
I will read a couple of reviews to somehow get a sense to how to rate this. But I wouldn't recommend it at all... It's like a wanna-be-cool tv show.
So happy that I don't own this or spent any money on it.
The Disasters was a bit of a disaster to read. For some odd reason, I was expecting something completely different than what I got and I have no idea how I feel about that. In it, you will meet Nax who ends up getting kicked out of the space station academy. While getting ready to go back to Earth, the space station is attacked. Nax and a few other rejects are basically on the run now because the whole world thinks they are the people who attacked the station.
I will admit I liked some characters and their stories but it didn't end up being enough. Each chapter brought a smidge of information that could help link to who actually attacked and why. It was interesting to see them all work together to be the next scooby doo gang (in space). Yet, I was a bit bored with everything and the ending didn't really shock or wow me. I liked it but that's about it.
This is a super fun read. Readers get a great look at the anxiety and fear of a young pilot coming into their own. They're surrounded by others in similar states, but with vastly different externalizations of similar fears and needs fears.
Plus romance... and some cursing.
There are tons of easter eggs to be found in the richly written worlds (yeah, that's plural). If you're anything like me, there will be plenty of points where you smile and nod at the book saying, "I know that one!" The tipping point of the story is a downhill sprint to the finish. I was almost as white knuckled as our daring heroes.
Space opera! Explosions! Teens racing to save the day! This book is action, action, action. With danger and flirting to boot. I'm a die hard Battlestar Galactica fan and The Disasters was just what I needed.
I'm not going to be able to write a real review because I wouldn't even begin to know how to write names of people and places but this book was just a delight from start to finish. I can also highly recommend listening to it (especially if you're someone who normally tends to not be able to focus on too much action, like me) because the narrator was awesome and he really made Nax's character come alive.
Does it make me a bad person that I agree with the Earth First people? Of course I don’t agree with their methods but their reasoning sound pretty damn logical to me. The whole try to fix what we’ve broken and that we don’t have a right to ruin another planet’s eco system just as we did with ours.
So this was not holding my attention in the slightest.
I was expecting a hilarious romp through space with a band of misfits, and that is what I got - but I didn't enjoy it. All the events in the story were happeing and I could not bring myself to care about the characters, the danger, or the high stakes. Nothing effected me and that was such a disappointing feeling. While this was a let down for me, I'm sure many others will love it so it's still worth a shot.
I received a copy of the book from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review
This was really fun! And I say that as someone who's not usually into sci-fi. I'm actually really curious how the Muslim rep is to someone who knows, because it's a surprisingly big aspect of the book. But yeah, basically, I love Quirky Squads on Missions books and this is one of those and I found it delightful. On-page bi MC, too.
To everyone who’s ever felt like a disaster. Here, have a spaceship! Now fly.
That dedication page message was definitely worth mentioning for me, because never has one spoken to my soul like this. (1) I am very much a disaster on the daily. (2) Lord, the things I’d do with a spaceship at my disposal. (3) Flying? Hell yeah.
The Disasters follows Nax Hall, a boy kicked out of space academy in less than 24 hours. His trip back to Earth is delayed when the academy is attacked by a group of people part of a deadly organization. Naturally, adventure ensues, and Nax finds himself with the fate of humanity in his hands. He will travel through space, Earth, and unknown planets with a group of academy rejects in hopes at saving the galaxy.
Every time that I come across a hilarious narrator in books, it’s like I’ve won the lottery. They’re true gold, and Nax Hall was a damn funny narrator, also a disaster bi. Him alone was enough to make this book easy to get lost in.
Another of the many things I adore in books is a band of misfits, partly because of the fact that I end up wanting to adopt them all as my children 9/10 times. Nax and his new academy reject space pals were completely amazing.
The one thing that I grew slightly bored of was the characters constantly running from authorities or being shot at. It was happening so often that I lost any real fear or anxiousness that something terrible would happen. Those scenes could have been shortened in length or changed slightly so that they differentiated themselves from previous ones a bit more.
Overall, I really did end up enjoying this book, though mostly due the characters. This was definitely a light, fun and bubbly read.
rep: Pakistani-American bi mc with anxiety, Black British mlm mc, mc with anxiety (maybe East Asian-Latina?), Khazistani trans girl mc, hijabi Muslim mc, Bengali side character, Pakistani-American side character
It’s a bit of a mixed bag for me, not gonna lie. On the one hand we have a beautiful bunch of characters and if you learned anything about my reading taste, it should be that I always go hard for a found family. So there was never any chance of me hating this book from the start, not with that assemble of teens. They’re amazing, I love them all, I would die for Rion, and it’s definitely a plus that they’re mostly non-white people.
I would even venture to say that this might be viewed as a character driven novel.
But then we have the actual plot and sure, a lot of things happen, and sure, they are mostly fun & engaging & it even all makes sense. But there’s this undercurrent of… not enough? I’m aware that million of people can die if our protags don’t succeed but the stakes somehow don’t seem high enough? There’s never a moment when you sit on the edge of your chair, biting your nails nervously, unsure of whether or not all is gonna be well.
It’s kind of like a Hallmark movie: you have fun with it, you make fun of it a little to your friend, and then you forget all about it.
The Disasters is a fast-paced space adventure that manages to be fresh and fun. M. K. England's debut shows a knack for rollicking hijinks while still making time for character development. The book also manages to be effortlessly inclusive. This is a future where everyone is welcome, and yet everyone still struggles to find their way. I'm hoping for a sequel soon with more adventures for our lovable team.
I read this book almost a month ago, and my immediate reaction was "Ahgdfdhgjhfdsfghfdfs I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!! NEW FAVOURITE!! I LOVE! LET ME FLAIL! I WILL BE OBSESSED WITH THIS BOOK FOREVER!! AHGGFGFHGJGHFG."
Meanwhile, the reasonable part of me that knows I react that way to about half the books I read, and then two weeks later have forgotten they exist was just like "No Iris. You are being silly. This book was good sure, but I don't think anything about it really stood out enough to be a favourite. Give it a week or two and you'll have forgotten it existed."
Because really. I do this every time, and I've gotten pretty good at recognizing when a book is a lasting favourite, and when a book will only be a "favourite" for a week or two.
But I clearly haven't quite perfected that art, because almost a month later, I'm still just as obsessed with this book as I was when I first finished it. Or even, dare I say it? More obsessed.
For the most part this book is pretty typical. It's well written and engaging, but the writing didn't exactly blow me away. The world building was solid and well thought out, but it didn't stand out or anything. The plot was fast paced and exciting, but not super twisty or unique.
So why did I love this book you might ask?? Two reasons.
1 - The humour.
This book was HILARIOUS. I spent the entire book just losing it. Because oh my god, this book just perfectly appeals to my sense of humour. Both the snarky banter and Nax's internal monologues were SO FUNNY.
Whether he was noticing Rion, or trying not to crash the spaceship and kill them all, or overhearing a completely nonsensical (to him at least) conversation about "some old classic book series I've never read" (aka Harry Potter)(Hush this book totally didn't win me over with Harry Potter references), he always had some sort of funny commentary about the situation.
2 - The CHARACTERS
The characters were what really made the book for me. Because they were all so wonderfully fleshed out and wonderful and I LOVE THEM.
- NAX. I already talked a bit about Nax, but my god he was SUCH an amazing character!! He's a snarky disaster bi, who managed to flunk out of the prestigious Ellis Academy (despite being a brilliant pilot). He's hella flawed, and he's an utter disaster, and I LOVE HIM SO MUCH MY PRECIOUS CHILD.
- ZEE. Zee is WONDERFUL. She's badass and talented and feisty and AHHHHHHH I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!!
- RION. Agh I love him so much!!! I'm realizing now that I... don't have the slightest clue how to describe him, but I swear he's amazing!! (And also I ship him and Nax SO MUCH.)
- ASRA. Asra is a sassy wonderful hijabi girl who saves all their lives and basically the entire universe because she's badass and amazing! (And also by far the most competent of the five.) I really really love her!!
- CASE. I have to say, Case was not personally my favourite, but she was well developed. I just didn't really feel she had quite the same spark as the others.
Overall? I FREAKING ADORE THIS BOOK GO READ IT! Do you like found families and groups of misfits? Fast paced space adventures? Sass and snark and banter?? A super diverse cast of characters?? Then you need to read this book!! It's fantastic and funny and AHJGHFDFSDFHJGHGFSDGDHFJGFGFDGFH!!!! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!!
***Initial Reaction, January 2, 2019***
THIS BOOK. SO GOOD. It was fast paced and hilarious and OH MY GOSH I LOVED IT SO MUCH!!! I highly recommend this book. SO GOOD. This was the perfect first read of 2019, and I'm SO GLAD I picked this one up! RTC.
I read an early version of this book and it is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC. YA space opera about a bunch of f*ckups who try to run away from their problems, fail, and end up having a brilliant, life-changing adventure. It's a clever, delightful space-age coming-of-age story, and you will have so much fun reading it!!
UPDATE: I'm rereading this now to prep for an interview with the author and what's so striking to me this time around is how it's fun, fast-paced, super-queer YA but it's still *smart* - England never talks down to their readers, and they don't pretend everything is perfect or that people always make the right decisions. Ugh I love it, preorder it now kthxbai.
O.W.L.s Read #8 Completes Divination - A book set in the future
Actual Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
This. THIS IS THE SCI-FI BOOK I NEVER KNEW I WANTED! Oh my goodness, I love this failed class and their snarkiness! Everyone told me they think I'd love this and they were so right. I hate that this is a standalone because I REALLY want more books with this crew, but I'll take what I can get I guess.
I really enjoyed The Disasters. It’s a fun book, packed with action and an engaging, unique plot. The characters are the strongest element, relatable with full arcs and happy endings. My only wish is that this could've been stretched into a series, or even just a duology. The characters were just so fantastic that I want more! The ending wasn’t completely open and shut, though, so maybe a sequel is something I can reasonably hope for. Rating: Five/Five
Favorite quotes: - “Every cell of my body says, ‘Oh god yes! Crime? I can do some crime!’ I want this ship like I’ve never wanted anything in my life. I had a poster of the first-ever Breakbolt model on my bedroom wall when I was nine. It’s like a manifestation of every dream I’ve ever had, everything I’ve ever wanted for myself: a piloting license, a beautiful ship under me, and stars out the viewport. Child Nax says, ‘Do it, do the crime!’” - “We’re raised to believe that if we do all the right things, the law will protect us. Reality is much harsher.” - “Yeah, I know, I’m a bit of a disaster. But hey, aren’t we all? Doesn’t mean we can’t fly.”
This is going to be a bit of a hard book to review, because it was, in essence, very middling for me. I liked it well enough, I don't have much in the way of negatives, even. It just didn't blow me away, and sometimes that happens. It was entertaining enough, though maybe I won't necessarily find it to be memorable down the road. So I will try to break it down as best I can, yes?
The Stuff I Liked:
•It's really quite fun. The humor is definitely a plus. It wasn't "rolling on the floor in hysterics" funny, but it was charming and amusing. The characters got into some real antics, and some of them certainly gave me a few chuckles.
•The main character group is really well done. They're all pretty well developed, with different quirks and traits. And I liked them! Even when I didn't necessarily like their choices, they made sense for the character at the time/situation. And I felt sympathetic toward them all too. In addition, it's a very diverse group, in so many ways!
•There are a lot of space shenanigans! I love space shenanigans! And we definitely are not lacking for them in this book. The gang has a huge undertaking (think: saving worlds and such) and they definitely are trying their hardest, running all over the universe to do so basically! Obviously I won't say too much here, but if you're looking for adventure, this book has it!
The Stuff I Didn't:
•The future didn't progress a ton in some aspects. Like the MC is eating Cheetos in one scene, browsing a Sky Mall catalog in another. Sky Mall is barely a thing now for goodness sake! People are texting each other and like... no, I feel like if there are space academies, we've probably moved past texting? Maybe I am being picky, but it kind of took me out of the whole "futuristic" setting.
•It felt kind of safe, considering. I mean, granted it started out with a deadly bang, but I never really feared for our main group. Things just kept coming way too easily for them, way too coincidental, that I kind of assumed everyone would be just fine by the end. (Was I right? You'll have to read it to find out 😂) But the book to a big hit on intensity for me because of that.
Good characters, amusing moments, and space shenanigans are definite reasons to grab this one! If you don't mind a little suspension of disbelief and ease of accomplishment, it's certainly worth the read!