I loved Adrift. Loved the plot arcs and the split between four or five narrators as they tell the story of this small group of terrified passengers and staff. Loved how real the characters were as they deal with the stress and horror of being stranded and alone, surrounded by wreckage. Loved the pacing of the reveals and the constant switch between villains and heroes. All in all, a great book that will keep you on your toes until the very end.
Why I Loved It
Examination of Being Human
At it’s heart, Adrift was a highlight of what it is to be human. How will we react when our lives are in danger? How will we work together with others who have different motives, when everyone thinks they know best? When the shit hits the fan, who will be able to step up and take control of a situation no one is prepared for? We see people making terrible decisions, becoming villains unexpectedly, only to about-face and come out in a positive light later one. There are betrayals and surprises, and varied insights pulled from a collection of different life experiences. The elderly woman who spent her life in space, just starting to travel the universe. The young boy who dreams of being a pilot. His uninterested brother who just wants to dick around with his camera. Two fighting married couples. A man who you’ll love to hate from the very beginning. A terrified tour guide and a quiet pilot. They’re all in this together and it takes everyone to get it together and start searching for solutions.
It was most interesting to me to see this epic story through the eyes of four different characters. We see the somewhat innocent perspective of the young boy as he tries to get the adults to shut up and listen to him. We see the elderly woman trying her best to help when they discount her because of her age. We see the total asshole who makes things worse for the majority of the novel. We see the tour guide who wasn’t prepared to work this hard on her first day. There are a few surprise perspectives added later in the book – all of them create a rich portrait of the tensions and trials on this little ship, giving the reader at least one person they can relate to.
This is an advanced universe that has finally figured out space travel and spread to hundreds of worlds throughout the galaxy. They’ve colonized and built atmospheres and perfected time-warp travel through modified blackholes. We get to see the larger tech in the form of their ship (crappy as it may be) and the little things that people would take for granted like eyepieces and tattoos that glow. It’s all built in seamlessly, which I very much appreciated. This author seems to know what he’s doing.
There are so many things that happen in Adrift. Situation after situation comes at you with full force, keeping you turning the pages quicker and quicker until the end. I involuntarily gasped at least 3 times throughout the book. It’s written so personally that you begin to feel like you’re in the dilemma, and the image of being trapped in space with no way out is a terrifying thought. Every action could result in the end. Every decision could be a wrong move, or could save them. There’s no way to know. You think you know these characters but as the novel advances, you find out that most of them aren’t who they appear to be. Each one has a surprise, and it makes for a very suspenseful plot full of twists and turns.
Group of people on vacation. A horrifying attack leaves them stranded. Passengers begin to break down one by one. They’re alone and afraid, until a whirl of events leads them to a harrowing conclusion.
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