*Image and book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.
On the US moon base, on the side of the moon that never faces Earth, there is a group of survivors. Years previous, a giant sun-flare killed almost all of the adults. The survivors are their children, all grown up, and the few adults that were lucky enough to be inside. To keep the kids productive and free from idleness, they are taught all the skills they need to continue their parents work and mine all of the platinum they can find and that's all they're given. When Van accidentally gets access to the blueprints for the radio/comms room, things begin to change and change quickly.
Despite having a relatively full cast of characters, the theme of this book is isolation. Whether it is the physical isolation of the moon base from Earth and the other moon bases or the social isolation of the science and engineering groups from the mining groups. Heck, in a way they've even isolated an entire generation from the memories of their parents. The key challenge in all of this is isolation and its effects on individuals and the populace.
I really liked how Readler used this theme to shape his characters. I feel that there weren't any overplayed character tropes as a result. Yes, there were a couple of typical things, it can't be a space-isolation story without someone going insane, but I felt there was enough differentiation in cause to keep them from being boring. I found his characters to be intelligent, highly optimistic, but not so lacking in common sense that it was irritating.
Probably the only thing I wish the book had done differently was how rushed the ending felt. The majority of this book is spent getting the nexgens to start learning how much they don't know they don't know. When it comes time for the main conflict, it feels like everything happens in just a few quick chapters. It's quite the abrupt change in pace. I don't blame Reader for doing this, though, you don't want a book to be too slow and without the slower pace of this first part of the plot, world and character building would be almost impossible.
In all, this was an enjoyable book. There were even some surprises in it. One or two things near the end felt a little forced, but there was little to no something-out-of-nothing surprises. If that makes any sense. I recommend this for anyone looking for an easy read, space adventure with young adult protagonists. 3.5 hoots!