By: a. w. karen
Publisher: a.w. karen
Publication Date: December 1, 2022
Reviewed by: Dianne Woodman
Review Date: December 3, 2022
SPVCE by a. w. karen is an eye-opening science-fiction story filled with dilemmas that bring to light the physical and emotional effects of stress-induced anxiety attacks. It is geared toward young adult readers and takes place in a futuristic world where children spend their younger years training to become space cadets. At the age of fifteen, teenagers who pass a test qualify to become space travelers.
SPVCE is told through the eyes of fifteen-year-old Maci Layton, who travels with a group of teenagers into space. The ten teenagers believe they are on a mission to benefit the world. The first stop in their journey is Space Station One, where the teenagers elect Maci, who specializes in psychology, as the group leader. Maci finds it quite challenging to fulfill the leadership role, especially as she struggles with crippling anxiety attacks. When things do not go exactly how the teenagers expect, it takes a toll on everyone in the group. The teenagers are mystified and unsettled about the decisions being made by the people in charge of the expedition. Are they trying to hide something?
The author's use of sensory imagery and figurative language immerses readers into the story and allows them to connect with the teenagers. A mix of personality types brings its own set of problems, especially with the teenagers finding themselves in confusing and uneasy circumstances. Each one reacts in ways that match their characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The author does an excellent job of showing the extreme emotional strain experienced by the teenagers who are navigating uncharted territory, and readers feel like they are on an emotional roller coaster ride with them as they work at traversing through daily challenges and obstacles.
Readers are engaged in this soul-stirring story from the beginning, and the author keeps them riveted to the pages until the end. a. w. karen has a personal investment in the story which creates a sense of trust with readers and makes the descriptions of the debilitating anxiety attacks convincing. The author does an outstanding job of ramping up the tension throughout the story. The horrifying and surprising discoveries made by people involved in the journey into space culminate in an adrenaline-charged climax. The solid ending of this debut novel brings the story to a satisfying close. However, the author leaves the door open for a sequel that revolves around the teenagers in a new situation.
Quill says: A riveting and enlightening story of a futuristic society with hidden secrets that sheds light on the intensity and severity of anxiety attacks and also gives an in-depth look into the coping mechanisms of teenagers thrown into unanticipated predicaments.
For more information on SPVCE, please visit the author's website at: www.awkaren.com
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