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The Hatch

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'With technology becoming so complex and overriding ethical boundaries and our ever-expanding push into space, we have to develop our senses to their fullest potential. We have to evolve faster.' These are the words her mother spoke the night before she left on an EASA-sponsored mission in space. She never came back.

After her mother’s funeral, her brother also joined EASA. He went missing too.

Having lost both mother and brother, Britta Tate does not want to go with EASA when they come for her at age thirteen, but she doesn’t have much choice. They process her as a psychic intern and begin a grueling regiment of training. Ten years later, she is accomplished at many psychic abilities, but she is frustrated that her astral searches have been unable to track down her brother. Perhaps he just doesn’t want her to find him.

And why does the number forty-nine keep appearing?

270 pages, Paperback

Published December 31, 2019

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About the author

Michelle Saftich

4 books120 followers
Michelle Saftich is an Australian author who enjoys writing historical fiction and science fiction. She writes about migration, people's ability to adapt to changing environments and in her latest novel, The Hatch, she explores the pros and cons of having a sixth sense.

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Business/Communications Degree, majoring in journalism, from the Queensland University of Technology. For more than 20 years, she has worked in communications, including print journalism, sub-editing, communications management and media relations. She spent 10 years living in Sydney and two years in Osaka, Japan, where she taught English. She is married with two sons, and has a dog and a cat who both like sitting with her while she's writing.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 54 reviews
Profile Image for Clemens Schoonderwoert.
1,073 reviews76 followers
May 31, 2020
This futuristic novel is a delightful Sci-Fi adventure from the Aussie author, Michelle Saftich.

At the end of the book you'll find useful details concerning this story, as well as other important explanations.

Story-telling from this author is of a very good quality, the story is fast-paced and action-packed, with very likeable and believable characters, especially Britta and Cal, so every fan of Sci-Fi can enjoy him/herself by reading this book.

Although Sci-Fi is not my favourite reading topic, I still found this book very entertaining and likeable, and so in my opinion this book can be very attractive and worthwhile for Sci-Fi lovers.

All in all its a very good Sci-Fi story, well structured and executed by the author, and also in such a way that its easy to follow and enjoy for every reader/lover of a great Sci-Fi adventure.

Very much recommended to all Sci-Fi readers/lovers, and for me personally I really enjoyed it because of the wonderful achievement from this author and excitement this book has given me, and that's why I like to call it with pleasure: "A Very Enjoyable Sci-Fi Adventure"!

**Thank you to the author and agent for my digital copy in exchange for an unbiased and honest review!**
December 29, 2020
Today I finished reading this book, “The Hatch.” To be quiet honest, I’m sad to have turned the last page. But as the saying goes: Nothing last forever, even good reads. I only hope there will be another one anytime soon.

Simply brilliant, Michelle Saftich hasn’t disappointed in delivering a full picture. It’s totally a full blast into space. I don’t know if I was drawn into the book or astral projected in the book as Britta, it felt like an adventure -its magic.

Through the eyes of our female MC, Britta Tate, this is a conquest to learn of interstellar travel reaches and the realization of higher powers. Michelle’s characters that exist in this Si-Fi are well rounded, exploring their personalities in good and dark days.

The book is ultimately about love, oh my God, love! Love for family, a romantic and your home. In this case, home plant… What will you do for this alluring power called love?
In a universe ever so cruel with a government that has tentacles hungry for planetary rule, it will be hilarious not to be on the edge of your seat. You’ll only wish you had Britta Tate's gift and foresee your favorite characters fate, for they might not make it. You might be lucky though, so give The Hatch a try and find out.
I’m a new Si-Fi reader, what an introduction. I’m a fantasy dweller by choice and reason -oh thank you Michelle for a reason that I gave Si-Fi a chance and I’m drawn in 100%.
Profile Image for Píaras Cíonnaoíth.
Author 113 books118 followers
July 6, 2020
A gripping sci-fi that will have you on the edge of your seat...

Forty-some years ago my uncle gave me a science fiction anthology. It was a thick red hardback that I read from cover to cover. It inspired a lifelong love of the genre. The stories in that book made me think outside the box. They filled me with awe for the imagination it took to write them. That book still remains in my collection today. The title is OMNIBUS OF SCIENCE FICTION, edited by Groff Conklin, a well-known and prolific editor of the genre. It was published in 1952, the Golden Age of Science Fiction. It’s a substantial volume, 562 pages, with 43 stories divided into sections relating to a common theme. Some stories are fun, some are thought-provoking, and some are adventurous. I love them all.

The Hatch by Michelle Saftich is a brilliantly written and richly descriptive novel with brilliantly drawn characters and settings. The author weaves a well-crafted Sci-Fi action and adventure that will enthrall the reader from the start. Skillfully constructed, this exciting and energetic Sci-Fi will have you turning the pages from beginning to end.

I enjoyed the story, character development and dialogue. There were plenty of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and that added to the book’s magnetism. When I stopped reading to work, I found myself wondering what happened in the book, and replaying parts of the novel in my head to see if I could figure more out. It has been a while since I enjoyed a book this much. It’s a first-class sci-fi story with perfect pacing.

I’m a big fan of science fiction, so this for me was a phenomenal read. For sci-fi fans looking for an interesting, three-dimensional and stimulating read, this would be a great find. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader.

I’ll be looking forward to reading more from Australian born author, Michelle Saftich in the future. This is a name to watch out for! A well-deserved five stars from me.
Profile Image for Paul DiBara.
184 reviews1 follower
April 8, 2020
This is a young adult book that fans of space fantasy should find fascinating and enjoyable. It is imaginative and relatively fast paced.

Britta Tate has a valuable talent, a psychic ability that allows her to see into the future and past. When she reached adolescence she also develops the ability to astral project and leave her physical body. Her mother and older brother had similar abilities and they became members of an elite space exploration agency which sent them into the cosmos in search of distant human habitable exoplanets.

Britta loves and misses her mom and brother but has always harbored a certain resentment toward her mom and brother for having left her, her younger brother and father behind. Then, abruptly, she finds herself forcefully recruited by the same agency for specialized training, particularly to enhance her psychic abilities. She excels to the point that she is considered the most talented of her kind.

Her mother, then her brother, disappear and even her talents are not enough to located them or to determine their fate.

Britta has been smitten by Cal, the best friend of her older brother, since being introduced to him by her brother. Though not gifted with psychic talents Cal has always felt protective of Britta. A good part of the story involves the growth of a romantic relationship between the two.

After spending a decade honing her abilities at the space institute a sudden announcement is made that the school will cease to exist and all students are expected to travel to a new and beautiful world, only recently settled by humanity. This action was strange enough but several thousands of ships will be also be making the trip with some billions of other people. The reason is not immediately explained but as the fleets of ships begin their voyage the passengers are informed that a huge asteroid is on a collision course with Earth and they are among the select segment of Earth's inhabitants that will be saved. The real reason was withheld from the general public to avoid a panic.

But, this is not the whole story by a long shot and the remainder of the book contains mind-bending plot twists and turns, including the discovery of a new species of life discovered on the virgin planet and new realms of reality that Britta must explore at her hazard. Even the home planet's fate hangs in the balance.
Profile Image for Tabitha  Tomala.
644 reviews74 followers
June 7, 2020
This review is also featured on Behind the Pages: The Hatch

Britta never wanted to work for the EASA. Both her mother and brother went on space missions for them and never returned. But when EASA comes for her on her thirteenth birthday, she has no choice but to join. Within their training program she learns how to develop her psychic abilities, and by doing so hopes to one day speak with her lost family members. But when training is interrupted, she and her fellow students are placed on a mission to other planets. Britta is assigned to the same planet her mother and brother were last seen on before they were lost. Determined to find out what happened to her family, Britta embarks on a journey that will test her abilities and all she believes.

The passage of time while swift was handled well within the novel. Two generations of EASA agents were covered to provide a background for the story. Once the narrative settled on Britta and her time with the EASA, I was immersed in the tale of a girl who strived to maintain her identity and work towards her goals.

The Hatch is much more than a sci-fi novel. It is the story of a girl who learns to believe in herself and her capabilities. She accepts her responsibilities and does what she has to for the greater good. She is willing to make sacrifices and put her own life on the lines for countless others. Britta is a character that readers can admire.

And while there are romance elements in the novel, the relationship Britta forms only adds to the emotion of the story. Her character develops as the realistic attraction grows. The romance never feels forced, but instead slowly develops over time. The tension builds as Britta becomes attached and realizes she has more at stake. Pages will fly by as Britta tries to balance between her mission goals and savings those she loves.

Fans of exploration sci-fi and light romance will not be able to put this book down!
Profile Image for Ener Eknar.
2 reviews1 follower
February 22, 2020
A book that is both a space adventure and a journey into the inner psyche of the self.
Michelle Saftich paints a universe that is multi-dimensional, and where the vast expanses of time and space are accessible through human consciousness in states of deep meditation.
I was engaged with the main character from the beginning and the initial development of the characters made a dramatic and riveting closing sequence.
Not your standard sci-fi read.
Profile Image for Dawn.
23 reviews8 followers
July 18, 2020
Earth is on the brink of destruction as she sets out to an alien planet to contact another higher form of being. She's being called there and she doesn't know why, but she knows it's important to help Earth and to discover more about her mother and brother.

Along the way she reunites with a fellow EASA member that she remembers meeting as a child. He used to be her brother's close friend, and now she finds herself getting close to him as well, but in a different way. She also battles her high emotions as she gets closer to the truth of what happened to her family.

This is a masterful story told across space and time. It dives heavily into psychic phenomena as Britta astral travels to reach out to higher vibrational beings and even her lost family. But it is well-balanced with some awesome space travel technology to create a believable world that engrossed me right away.

This is one of the best space traveling books I've read in a long time, and I truly hope the author either continues this story with another book, or something close to it. If you like a good space exploration book and highly character driven plot, this is the book for you!
Profile Image for Nicola.
1 review
January 2, 2021
I generally struggle with sci-fi novels as it all seems so far fetched. However The Hatch is so well thought out and researched that it feels like you're stepping into the future. This book had me in its grasp from start to finish, and I was so sad to finish it (that's when I know it's a good one!). I loved this book, very much enjoyed it and cannot wait for the next one!
Profile Image for T.C. Randall.
Author 2 books5 followers
July 12, 2020
This is an author worth watching. The book is fast paced, interesting and fun. The writer is very descriptive, giving the reader a place within the story. I especially liked the beginning. It's hard for an adult to write children convincingly (they tend to write about small adults instead), but this author managed it quite well. Though the overall theme of the book is geared more towards young adults, still an interesting plot. I would highly recommend this to readers who enjoy this genre.
Profile Image for Hadel Ma'ayeh.
Author 2 books25 followers
July 10, 2020
If you enjoy Star Trek, Stargate and Babylon 5, you will surely love The Hatch.

Filled with science fiction, paranormal, fantasy, and a great mystery that keeps the reader flipping through pages until answers are clearly explained and at awe of the outcome. To add, some shocking results for both the storyline and characters.

While reading, I can't help but feel, the book reflects a bit of our current situation of humanity's greed, hunger for power and fears in our current state. 

I recommend The Hatch for all science fiction fans. A great read, thank you!
Profile Image for Eva Goldsby.
Author 14 books28 followers
July 12, 2020
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of science fiction space travel or psychic abilities of any time.
Profile Image for C.C. Uzoh.
Author 4 books5 followers
June 16, 2020
I received a free PDF copy of THE HATCH by Michelle Saftich in exchange for an honest review.

This was my first ever SciFi read, I finished it in less than two days and consider it a well-written, fast-paced story.

Though the hardest part of the book was the prologue, as I felt it could've been shorter, still I enjoyed the use of present tense in the writing, which made it seem like Saftich's narration was happening as I read it. I was able to transport myself into the world Saftich created.

Whilst I enjoyed the dynamic between Britta, Jem, and their Dad, I wish they were more developed. Perhaps this might come in a sequel as the ending does suggest.

Chapters thirteen and fourteen were the most fun for me as I learnt more about the close relationship between Britta and Cal as they plot a future without forgetting the past and enjoying the present.

Overall, I liked the theme of hope that runs through the story as well as the use of colours (deliberate or not) to symbolize different spectra of existence.

But the ultimate question is: are Jem and Britta's mum gone forever? I would like to know.

A good read!
Profile Image for Shelley Nolan.
Author 30 books61 followers
January 5, 2020
I had been wanting to read this book ever since I found out about it during #WeLoveOurAuthors promotion prior to its release, and it did not disappoint. I was drawn in by the idea of a young woman searching to find out what happened to her missing family members in a story that incorporated spaceships, conspiracies, alien creatures and psychic abilities. It was fascinating to read about how the EASA had utilised psychics to help find habitable worlds and to determine certain actions. But at heart this story was about one woman's quest for the truth in the face of escalating danger.
Britta, is the most accurate psychic to enter EASA. She didn't want to go there, but it is the place that gives her the best chance of finding out what happened to her missing family members. The EASA is a strict and at times terrifying taskmaster, but because of the strength of her abilities Britta is able to maintain her unique identity. I loved that she was a splash of colour in the otherwise stark environment, and that she remained true to herself as she sought to strengthen and control her abilities. The hints and portents she receives are disturbing even as they highlight the conflict that is brewing for Britta and those she cares about.
With disaster looming, Britta must trust in her abilities and her allies to have any hope of breaking free from the conspiracy that surrounds her. There were parts that made me smile, parts that made me sad, all packaged within a tense and exciting story that had me tearing through the pages. I read this book in one day, as I did not want to put it down. I also did not want it to end and would love to read more about Britta and her adventures.
Profile Image for M.E. Aster.
Author 3 books41 followers
July 27, 2022
The Hatch is a sci-fi tale that everyone can enjoy. Featuring themes like family, love, and the resilient hope that humanity can survive in even the worst situations, The Hatch was a great read.

Britta was a very likable main character. Her insecurities and imperfections made her relatable even with her psychic abilities. I loved watching her growth across the story and her loyalty to her family and loved ones was commendable.

I enjoyed the interesting concept of space travel through the hatch. That mixed with Britta’s inconsistent ability to tell the future made for a wonderful plot that kept me interested from start to finish.

My only small complaint with the story was the pacing. Sometimes it seemed to move slowly then all of a sudden the climax of the book was reached in what seemed to be a few chapters. I still thoroughly enjoyed it but I was left wanting a bit more.

Overall I highly recommend The Hatch to any fans or sci-fi or even someone looking for a thought provoking read that will leave you feeling good once it’s finished.
Profile Image for BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books).
1,386 reviews102 followers
April 18, 2020
Wow, The Hatch was such a fast-paced science fiction story!

Britta's mother and brother have gone missing, and she is searching across all of space to find them. Britta has an ability that lets her see the past and the future. She eventually gains the ability to astro-project, where she leaves her body behind, but her mind goes where she's projecting.

I loved the amazing world that was created in this story. There are amazing alien lifeforms, new worlds to discover, and crazy psychic abilities. The book was full of plot twists that just kept coming! The characters were easy to connect to. I enjoyed Britta and her story!

I would recommend this book for any readers that enjoy science fiction with a mix of psychic/paranormal.

I was provided a copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Clare Rhoden.
Author 21 books38 followers
February 20, 2020
The Hatch is fast, gripping sci-fi that won't let you go. Britta, a psychic intern in Earth's combined space program, searches across the galaxy for her missing mother and brother. The mix of science and psychology is entrancing, the world-building is insanely realistic (so easy to imagine Earth ending up this way!), and the characters feel like friends for life. If you love smart and emotionally satisfying sci-fi, this is for you.
I couldn't put this book down and consequently, right now I'm wearing a shirt that needs ironing.
1 review
February 18, 2020
Very enjoyable and easy read. Whilst sci-fi isn’t my usual genre of books, this story kept me thoroughly entertained and reminded me of elements of JD Robb and Suzanne Collins. Am looking forward to seeing where the journey takes us next, both in space and psychically.
Profile Image for Sarah.
348 reviews49 followers
July 15, 2020
I was offered an e-book copy of The Hatch from Henry Roi PR, an agency representing the author Michelle Saftich, in return for my honest review, which follows below. I thank them for reaching out and giving me this opportunity.

I rated this 5 stars.
Originally I was going to rate this 4 stars. I knocked one off because I do not see myself re-reading this novel again, even though it was an enjoyable first read. I usually prefer darker fiction, more horror tinged, and while tense in many places, this could not claim to be horror. I bounced it up to 5 stars because it did give me something I usually do not have the pleasure of doing: I can recommend this book to the many members of my family that enjoy Science Fiction but in no way like same type as me. My dad, he got me into reading, he had the large at home library. I could go in his desk room and pick out almost any book I wanted; he introduced me to my first Hitchcock, King, Asimov, Heinlein, and so many others. But my interest soon went a little too far into horror for him to be able to converse with me about. So I am very happy that there is a book I can comfortably tell my dad and uncles about, that is directly in their preferred genre; I could make direct eye contact and tell them this has no crazy horror stuff mixed in, this is a well written, interesting novel, enjoy.

Now I do not know that much about what goes into actual space travel, or the practical evolution to future space travel; I also did not know anything about cloning dinosaurs when I read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, but I enjoyed it. Mira Grant on virology and zombie viruses, Blake Crouch on multiple universes and alternate timelines, I could not stress enough how this stuff goes over my head, but I can tell that they knew what they were talking about and were putting in a way for us to enjoy. When I read their stories I feel like I could almost understand, and that’s how I felt after reading this novel and long distance space travel. This was a well thought out novel that blended science with the more ethereal, psychic abilities.

An aspect I appreciated of this novel is that the female protagonist was presented as strong, but without the usual trauma needed for her to rise to that position. She was raised in a loving home, given support by her parents, and had a healthy sense of who she was because of this. It was a refreshing change of view. I also liked that there were male and female characters that were shown to be good and wise throughout the book, it felt more realistic than some stories where they go overboard with only their one chosen character being the shining light of a situation.

So the premise of the book, which I know has taken me a bit to get to, is that Earth is on its last legs. We have used it up so much that most of the population is used to eating nutrition bars, not fresh food. There is also a planet ending asteroid going to hit Earth, but there are a few plans to try and stop that; make a rocket on planet to knock it off course enough to miss Earth, trade with aliens on the planet Nattalia for a device that can destroy the asteroid completely. Nattalia is one of the planets found that can support human life, and it can be reached by using a hatch, which is used to travel far distances in space. But the original ship and crew on mission to get the weapon go missing, and the rocket will not work.

Britta Tate has the same psychic ability as her mother and brother, and is conscripted into the EASA at 13 for training. But she refuses to fully conform; no enhancements or uniforms for her. Before her graduation all the interns get relocated to other planets with their families, in an attempt to further settlement expansion, so they are told. She requests to be sent to Nattalia, where her mother and brother had traveled before her, and have been lost to her.

This is a pretty realistic story, for having deep space travel and alien life forms; we didn’t take care of our planet, there are leaders in charge that are only out for the most profit and power they can grab, and there is a desire for change, even if it’s below the surface at first. The people the author writes are complex, which is how we really are; we can be scared and react to that, but then grow a conscience and change. We can go through most of our life not knowing what we want to do with it, and then rise to the occasion when strength is needed. We can put our trust in something we are not sure about, because we trust the person telling us about it.

I really enjoyed this book, even if it’s not my usual bag. I can recommend this to people of several different age groups, it’s written in very accessible language without feeling childish. I thought the underlying message that I took away from it, because what I got from it may not be what the author intended, or what you get from it, was a healthy one. Which I am glad that is coming out of fiction more nowadays; being comfortable with yourself, finding your own strength but also knowing when to ask for help, much better than waiting to be rescued from a drafty tower. This author impressed me with all the complexities she was able to weave into The Hatch and not bog it down, the story flowed smoothly.
Author 12 books20 followers
July 14, 2020
The Hatch
What do you get when you mix cyborgs, space travel, psychic abilities in a coming-of-age, fast paced sci-fi thriller? You get Michelle Saftich’s The Hatch, a sound read, full of twists that will keep you guessing and reading.
Young Britta Tate who has an ability for telepathy and mind reading, must follow onto the footstep of her disappeared Mother and older brother and join the ESEA (Elite Space Exploration Agency) force, where her talent and hard training enable her to Astral project.
As she is about to graduate, she is sent on a mission to the planet Nattalia, which is the last planet her mother and brother were seen on. She plans to use her time on Nattalia using her telepathic abilities to find her brother who she believes is still alive, but likely to be lost in space.
Accompanying her is Cal, Jem’s old friend with which she forms a strong bond, her father rendered cynical by the loss of his wife and son, and Neath, Britta’s younger brother.
The Hatch’s characters are interesting and realistic and Britta’s supernatural abilities and strength are nicely offset with the traits of a typical teenager and young woman, including her confused feelings for Cal.
I don’t read sci-fi very often as I sometimes find the descriptions too technical and the world depicted too difficult to picture. The Hatch wasn’t like that. There was the odd lengthy paragraph about how hatches work, which I guess is necessary to the plot but everything else was easy to picture and Michelle Saftich’s world is definitely a well thought, vivid and interesting one.
Saftich touches on quite a few subjects, loss, grief, environment and ethics, adding depth to Britta’s adventures.
I’m looking forward to a sequel.
I was sent a copy of The Hatch in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jack Page.
Author 2 books42 followers
June 20, 2020
The Hatch is a space odyssey with a hint of romance and personal tragedy (the protagonist’s mother and brother disappear in the vast stretches of space as they are looking for inhabitable exoplanets). But it is first and foremost a story of a thirteen-year old girl that develops as she struggles and overcomes various obstacles.

The actions at the space agency that has forcefully recruited Britta Tate, the main protagonist of the story, cover a time stretch of over a decade. Yet Saftich manages well to keep a good narrative tempo. This long stretch is important as Britta only gradually develops her psychic abilities that have made her so valuable to the space agency in the first place.

The Hatch is packed with interesting and often unforeseeable plot-elements (e.g. the discovery of a new species, a mass-exodus from earth, and many more).

All in all a very enjoyable read that will make you turn the pages quickly. Recommended for fans of sci-fi, romance, and especially coming-of-age stories.
Profile Image for Stephanie Whitson Author.
Author 13 books4 followers
July 10, 2020
I love science fiction and I devoured this book in two dsys. It is a coming of age story in a dystopian world and it's a book gear towards younger audiences, but as an adult I felt it was very enjoyable. I also really loved the world building the author built into it and the descriptions were very detailed. So detailed I could imagine the paradise the author had described for the readers.

The main character her name is Britta and she lost her mom and her brother. And over the course of the book she spends her time searching over space and time to try and find them. She had a psychic abilities and she goes to a facility that helped her develop those abilities. I thought the author did a realistic job regarding her physic abilities.

One more thing I did want to say that I did receive a copy of the book in exchange for review. I'm very happy with my decision to review it. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of science fiction space travel or psychic abilities of any time
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kyle.
Author 1 book29 followers
July 11, 2020
It takes a lot to get the right mixture to create a world and a story that is creative and one that pushes boundaries, while also planting the possibility in the mind of the reader, that this maybe could happen in the future. That's what a good science fiction book does and what this book does.

The book is a gripping read that draws you straight in. The story-line is easy to follow and is very fast-paced. At no point did I find myself confused with the plot or characters, which I am thankful for. The characters are well developed and very well thought out. The relationship between all of the characters reads very naturally, which I also really liked. At no point did I feel that the conversations were forced, which I really enjoyed.

This is a well-written and thought out book with a very exciting plot. It's gripping from the very first word to the last, a great read for those who read a lot of science fiction and those new to the genre alike.
Profile Image for B. Fleetwood.
Author 4 books23 followers
July 20, 2020
The Hatch is a space adventure following Britta Tate, a young girl who has the ability to predict the future and who can astro travel across space and time. The book opens with a glimpse of her mother's accident and the subsequent funeral when she has been assumed dead. Britta's brother Jem, who shares his mother and sister's powers, then disappears on a mission to find their mum.
Britta is sure they are both alive so readily accepts her call to go and train with EASA (the Earth Aeronautics and Space Administration). Fast forward ten years and our quirky heroine is now a young adult and about to go on an epic journey into space. Earth is being partially evacuated as an asteroid speeds towards the planet on course to destroy it. Those leaving will be catapulted billions of miles to a new planetary home when their spaceships enter 'the hatch'. Cue for an exciting, action packed adventure! And action-packed it is.

I really love the heroine, Britta. Her character has depth and discernment but some of the other characters would benefit from being better fleshed out like Cal's parents, the alien being Tasma and the sinister Mandon. To my mind they were rather one-dimensional.
The world building of Nattlaia is impressive and many of the descriptions are so visual they are cinematic.
The plot is good despite a few convenient leaps where the action appeared hurried or even skipped.
There were a few niggles. I found it hard to understand the apathy of the Nattalia inhabitants, an elite society of the most intelligent and artistic humans who had formed the first colony on this idyllic planet. Their hedonism and lack of engagement seemed implausible. The background and drive of the alien species was unclear but maybe this will be expanded upon in future books.
When all's said and done, the pace of the book is excellent and it is well worth a read.
This would appeal to Young Adults but also those of any age who love a science fantasy.
3&1/2 stars rounded up to 4.
Profile Image for Darren Boeck.
Author 5 books93 followers
August 25, 2020
The Hatch is an entertaining science fiction read. I found the main character likable and believable. The author does a great job of creating a futurist world that is plausible with a touch of, dare I say, almost extradimensional magic. A very solid read and worth the time for lovers of science fiction. I would recommend this book without pause.

One minor editing note, near the end of the book, one sentence ends with a period immediately followed by a comma. It's the only edit I caught that could be quickly fixed. I was given the book to read in exchange for an honest review, but in hindsight, had I known the caliber of the writing I would have readily purchased this book to read. This is a solid work of science fiction that others will easily enjoy.
5 reviews
July 8, 2020
I was asked to write a review in return for a free copy. I have no connection to the author.

To be honest I haven't read any modern science fiction, just a few classics by Wyndham, Wells, Ballard and Frank Baker. I found the strong female character in the prologue good and very modern but when I got past that I just couldn't relate to the younger characters - probably due to my age.

The book is very well written and the prologue is very fast paced, all-action which I liked - reminded me of a teaser at the start of a tv episode like Firefly.

In all the book was not for me but I think young science fiction fans will love it. Good characters and role models for teens.
Profile Image for Dargan.
Author 3 books21 followers
June 27, 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed Michelle Saftich's book The Hatch. The book opens with starship captain Amelia Tate facing a harrowing dilemma - continuing on the ship's current course would deliver Tate and her crew into an ambush and certain death, but the only alternative was using a hyperspace system called "The Hatch" to send the ship into empty space millions of light years for anywhere inhabited by humans. The captain makes the choice to escape into deep space, and the book shifts to focus on her family, who believe she has died. You will fall in love with the Tates - brave, overprotective Jem who goes after the secret of what happened to his mom, iconoclastic Britta who refuses to fit in, but proves equally brave and talented, their kind sardonic father who refuses, with justification, to trust virtually everyone; young Neath who surprises everyone, and finally, their animatronic pet, a Pandador (or Labrapanda - the book is silent on this important question ;)) that answers to the name of Ray-Ray. This motley crew, connecting with a mysterious alien race) is essentially responsible for trying to save Earth from both an asteroid and its corrupt rulers. Can they do it? It's worth reading this book to find out.
Profile Image for Damir Franusic.
Author 1 book3 followers
July 12, 2020
This book is a real gem, an utterly unexpected one, featuring a plot that keeps you focused and spellbound from start to finish. It really impressed me with a perfect blend of short and complex sentences; they add up to a dynamic pace of an already intriguing storyline.

This really caught me off guard and perplexed me quite a bit, as I'm usually in awe of endless piles of semicolons and philosophical mind twisters. The Hatch doesn't let down in that field either as it deals, to some extent, with questions about reality, multiple planes of existence, and subjects pertaining to mind over matter, subjects like telepathy.

Regarding character development, there's probably room for improvement, but in my humble opinion, they are believable, diverse, and I would neither change nor add anything in particular to their personalities. This book can stand perfectly on its own, but it can also be considered an intro to a set of multiple novels.

I will not dissect the storyline, nor will I divulge any spoilers. Lovers of science fiction should consider binge reading this creative and heart-warming novel, as I'm almost sure they'll enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you, Michelle, for this well balanced and enchanting story which kept me glued for hours on end as I scrutinised every sentence and every single word of this brilliant little novelty of fiction.
1 review
June 22, 2020
Even though it is a sci-fi read it is more than that. I can only draw a parallel with Harry Potter because it helps kids, especially little girls, grasp responsibility and what one's full potential could be. The book has many fantastic elements that will help you like it even more, not only that it is sci-fi. However, the genre offers more than just what it entails on the surface, you will have a bit of romance as well, but nothing too much or too distracting.

A well conceptualized and written book that will have all who pick it up charmed and entangled so that putting it down will seem like a sin. The paranormal aspect made it more thrilling since it contained what I personally like, a mystery that is hidden and could bring out more when that box is open and analyzed.

If you have a chance pick up the book as it will be worth your time and give it a go because you will feel inspired by the time you read it.
29 reviews
June 15, 2020
I had never been drawn to science fiction, until I read THE HATCH, only, I would say this novel's captivating characters, even those artificially enhanced, are so real, it is science future.

We are thrown near to the edge of our universe, onto a recently discovered planet that supports not only human life, but also beings who exist on a different plane. Michelle Saftich paints a beautiful new world where "the treetops are swaying, thrashing against each other; each flay spraying forth a shower of leaves, flowers, and crimson pods, which flutter down to join the vigorous wind-blown waltzes below."

It is also a place where good and evil clash much like on earth.

The story buoyed me along, at times at supersonic speed, and is filled with surprises, marvelous morsels of futuristic knowledge yet always feeling organic even in the vastness of super space transports and weaponry, and robotic police and armies.

Outside of human necessities such as sleep and nourishment, I could not put my kindle away until I read to the very end. Thank you, Michelle, for a five star read.
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6 reviews14 followers
June 4, 2020
“In this absolute darkness, I hear whisperings; like leaves trying to talk, a rustling of words that convey no meaning. Each time I visit, the whisperings seem faster, more urgent, more intense.”

This coming-of-age dystopian story is the perfect book for lovers of Scott Westerfield and Suzanne Collins. While this book feels like it’s meant for a young adult audience it was just what I was looking for this weekend, something light and gripping to transport me into a galaxy far far away.

Saftich is clearly a creative world-builder; it’s easy to get lost in her fantastical descriptions of other worlds and, much like visiting Avatar’s Pandora, you finish the book not wanting to return to our rather bland, beige Earth after the paradise of Nattalia. Mixing science, psychology and psychic arts gave this dystopian story an unusual twist, and I loved how Saftich beautifully wove these threads into her tapestry of a young woman’s quest for the truth about her society and herself.

“I like to think the people of Earth have learned from that destruction. Things have been hard. We’ve gone without. We’ve hurt. Suffered. We’ve choked on the air we polluted and starved when our environment no longer supported growth of our food or provided for our water supplies. Artificial everything has left us weak and sick. But we have learned. We value what we’ve lost. It is through loss that we’ve learned how to protect and nourish. Our technologies are now focused on sustaining life, saving it, restoring it.”

While, at times, I would have liked a bit more character development and perhaps a little less cliche, this was balanced out by a plot driven by action, which meant it was always fast-paced and gripping. And, though set several hundred years in the future, it sheds light on many of the issues affecting us on Earth today: how we look after our planet’s resources; how we support an ever-growing population; and who we trust in a society driven by greed.

This futuristic sci-fi novel will have you wanting to jump into a spaceship and fly away - a fast-paced, action-packed book for young adults.

Huge thanks to Odyssey Books who sent me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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