Genre: Adventure, Space, YA
Publication date: December 18th, 2018
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.
-A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review-
I dove into The Disasters with almost no expectations. I had grabbed it on a whim and only vaguely remembered it had something to do with space. I’d say I regretted doing this but honestly, it was truly the best way to read this book because I ended up being taken completely by surprise by its awesomeness and just, IT WAS SO GOOD and it’s so GREAT to have a book completely surprise you.
There are many space books out there and it’s likely you’ve read and loved some of them. I am here to tell you The Disasters is better (or at least I think it is.) It’s the space book I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I NEEDED. Are you tired of all those space books that are super serious and all save-the-day, gloom and death? Me too. The Disasters has a bunch of those elements but it is also extremely fun. It’s the kind of book that can get you riled up when the stakes are high but also doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s the kind of book you’d want to unwind with after a long, hard, day at work.
The Disasters follows an extremely rag-tag group that finds themselves cooperating after they are all rejected from the Academy and somehow get blamed for a horrific terrorist attack that takes place at the Academy. While escaping, they pick up another member to add to their rag-tagness. Christina from A Reader of Fictions said that this book is “a bit like Breakfast Club in space” and there is absolutely no better way to describe this book. Even though the book is told from the Nax’s POV, all the characters have such a distinct personality that comes across so clearly. The cast is also an incredibly diverse one! While the author is white, and I cannot speak for all the rep, there is a degree of respectfulness in which everyone is portrayed and it definitely seems like sensitivity readers were involved (I am speaking particularly about muslim rep in this book which is very detailed and nuanced.)
I think the romance deserves a small mention just because there is a love triangle, but I, a hater of triangles, was a great fan of this one. Partially because its so bi and so delightful, but also, it wasn’t particularly an angsty triangle? There is not much going on in terms of active romance anyway, it’s mostly in Nax’s head, and him getting excited if he gets to touch one of the people he has a crush on. WHICH IS ADORKABLE.
My one qualm with this book is with this convo that the characters have on colonialism and humans colonizing other planets, and everyone was so blasé about it which was kind of upsetting to me??? They all seemed entitled to these foreign lands and yes, I get it, its space but there are very real conversations to be had about such things and I have strong feelings.
There is way more I want to say but honestly, I kind of want to keep it short so that you can have the same WOWZA experience I had with this book (aside from that one convo that made me angry.) In short, if you love a good space book, plots to destroy humanity, goofballs working together to save life as they know it, and a good adventure, this book is for you. You need it. READ IT.