Satellite by Nick Lake
Release Date: October 3rd 2017
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
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.
Satellite has an interesting plotline. It’s about three sixteen-year-olds, Leo and the twins Libra & Orion, who have spent their entire life in space on the Moon 2 station. They’ve mainly been raised by “babysitters”–aka Company employees–who rotate up to the station every couple of months. The twins’ mother is unable to come back up for medical reasons, and Leo’s mother, while a celebrated astronaut, is distant, to say the least. While everyone talks of home as Earth, these three’s experiences are limited to the stories they hear and the view from the station.
However, at sixteen, their bodies are finally strong enough to withstand the re-entry into Earth. While their trip is less than stellar and full of mishaps, for the first time the teens get to experience the feel of the sun, wind, and most important gravity. The transitions from 0g to life on Earth is less than easy; and much, much harder than anyone ever imagined. Not only that, but the three teens instantly become medical test subjects as they are forced to do tests day in and out. Not quite the Earth they imagined after all.
This basic storyline is what drew me to the book and made me keep with it. This concept of “what is home?” and can home really be something you’ve never been before. All three teens have different reactions, which really made me wish the book had introduced more than just Leo’s point of view. I would have loved to see what Libra and Orion were truly thinking through this all. There just felt like there was so much that was untouched in the other characters because Leo was the narrator. Even his mom and grandpa had a lot to offer.
I would have also liked if the LGBTQ stuff had come to the forefront just a little more. For most the book, all we really got was that he was hesitant to be near Orion because of what it did to him. And I know that’s not what the story is really about, but there was a lot more tension that totally could have been explored.
Of course, there are conspiracy theories and untold truths as well. The Company is probably as douchey as you think, maybe even more so. View Spoiler » In fact, we learn that the teens were an experiment from the get-go; a way to see if conception/birth could happen in space and then what long-term effects would be. « Hide Spoiler The pacing at times is a bit off, but overall, the story made for an interesting and enjoyable read.
On the other hand, if this book had not been for a blog tour I may have DNF’d. The entire book is written in text speak using things like “i” ,“u”, “c” &” dr.8”. To say it made me cringe was an understatement. It honestly made it hard for me to focus because I wanted to change it all to correct grammar. I’m far from being a grammar freak, but almost 450 pages of text speak would drive anyone crazy, which makes me a bit sad. The story itself is very good, but I can see the format turning some off. In fact, I would even go as far as saying grab this one in audio over print if possible. That way you get to avoid the text speak and only get the mainly fabulous story.