Jarra is stuck on Earth while the rest of humanity portals around the universe. But can she prove that she’s more than just an Earth Girl?
Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18 year old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an ‘ape.’ A ‘throwback.’ But this is one ape girl who won’t give in.
Jarra invents a fake background for herself – as a normal child of Military parents – and joins a class of norms that is on Earth to excavate the ruins of the old cities. When an ancient skyscraper collapses, burying another research team, Jarra’s role in their rescue puts her in the spotlight. No hiding in the back of the class now. To make life more complicated, she finds herself falling in love with one of her classmates – a norm from another planet. Somehow, she has to keep the deception going.
A freak solar storm strikes the atmosphere, and the class is ordered to portal off-world for safety – no problem for the real child of military parents, but fatal for Jarra. The storm is so bad that the crews of the orbiting solar arrays have to escape to the planet below: the first landing from space in 600 years, And one is on a collision course with their shelter.
Being a big science fiction lover, this book easily grabbed my attention. Combining elements of history and space exploration, this novel expertly creates a post apocalyptic version of Earth.
I connected quickly with Jarra, she is intelligent and driven, forging a career on her own terms. Later in the story (through one of the reveals) I lost a little faith in the writer, the sub plot wasn’t written well enough to be believable for me. But all in all a great story.
Her relationships build at a realistic pace, perceptions change and grow for all the characters in this book, which is something I don’t experience too often, so I have to take my hat off to Janet Edwards for creating such a well-rounded read.
Another aspect of the novel I enjoyed was the realism of the archaeological dig sites, even with the advanced technology being used. It added tension and a dynamic I was not expecting.
The Goodreads synopsis (above) does not do this book justice – I’d like to see it re-written to leave more of the plot left out and more character description.
I’d really like to talk more about the interesting aspects of the novel, but would end up with a list of spoilers, so I’d have to say, if you have an interest in science fiction, strong female characters, YA, and archaeology, then pick ‘Earth Girl’ up and give it a go. There were aspects of ‘The Brainship’ series By Anne McCaffery here, so if you liked that book, or her writing, then branch out to include Janet Edwards to you collection.
Definitely adding ‘Earth Star,’ the next in the series to my TBR list!
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