My rating: 5 of 5 stars
SHATTERWORLD begins with a group of religious conservatives aboard a spaceship called the "Starflower" examining a planet to see if it is habitable. If that sounds a little bit like the Pilgrims, it's because SHATTERWORLD was clearly inspired by the tale of Plymouth Colony. There are even indigenous people who, despite facing cultural extinction, form friendships with the settlers. For this reason alone SHATTERWORLD is worth a read. I often found myself thinking, "Those people should have stayed on earth," only to remind myself the Pilgrims faced similar odds.
I would say this book is best for the middle-grade reader. The protagonist, Rejoice, is 12 at the beginning of the book, although she does age several years by the time the story ends, and there are more books in the series. The content is appropriate for younger elementary school kids who are either strong readers or who will have the book read to them. I certainly enjoyed it as an adult.
My only complaint with the book would be Rejoice is something of a Mary Sue. Her only "flaw" is her desire to be an astronomer in a society where she is expected to be a farmer's wife, and that is, of course, no real flaw at all. Still, I look forward to reading the rest of the series and expect to see Rejoice grow as a character.
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