Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy Solstice!

The view from the Bainbridge side of the water.

Sunrise was at 7:55, sunset will be at 4:20 pm.

Happy Solstice, all!  It's the shortest day of the year, 8 hours, 25 minutes and 24 seconds of daylight, today.  Tomorrow?  We'll be up by 3 seconds!  Calloo, Callay!

In honor of our still beautiful and fairly gentle sunrises and sunsets, I give you the book of the day: Burn Out, by Kristi HelvigBurn Out is a rip-roaring, science fiction adventure featuring Tora Reynolds, the last person on Earth, as far as she knows. 

300 years ago, an asteroid on an interception path with Earth was coming around the sun.  The powers that be decided to try and deflect the moon-sized rock with a rocket, pushing it into the sun. 
Unfortunately,the asteroid had more dark matter than the scientists anticipated and the sun started to burn hydrogen faster. Soon the helium at the core was depleted and the sun began to burn out.  As the sun started to die, it became much larger and life on earth disappeared.  300 years later, there are no oceans, water is only available in the air, and, when an earth-like planet was found, those who could, mostly the wealthy and the scientists, flew as fast as they could to escape certain death, taking with them all the politics, jealousy, and hatred they were part of on Earth.

Tora's life in her underground bunker is, as dull as it is, pretty darned exciting.  She spends her time watching the little red lights on all her life support, hoping they don't change and blink out, watching her computer for anyone who might discover her website, and watching the artwork her dead sister made of flowers she'd never seen.  When an old "friend" comes to visit from the new planet to try and convince her to give him the really good guns her scientist father left her so he can sell them to the politicians, life takes a completely different turn and dull would be a good thing.

This is the kind of science fiction I love!  Strong characters, good story building, science that makes sense (as far as I can tell), and something both sexes would thoroughly enjoy.  Our world is really bleak but human resilience is strong.  Tora and the people who want her guns are complex and well-developed and have a lot to lose if they can't figure out a way to work together.  There is romance and fighting, massive wind storms in the nights, hope and despair, and it was a book I could not put down.  I can't wait to tell people about it! 

Teachers:  This could be a really good book to recommend to your students as it has a ton of good Common Core and STEM ingredients to it. 

(Egmont.  Available April 14. Ages 12 and up.  Call Eagle Harbor Books if you want a copy held for you!)
(No recompense received for this post.)


  1. Hi Rene--thanks so much for reviewing my book BURN OUT and I'm so glad you liked it! On a random side note, I've always told my hubby that if we ever move again, it's going to be to Bainbridge looks beautiful there. :)

  2. Hi, Kristi! Such a great read! Come on by the island, and the store, of course, any time. We'd love to have you as a local author!