On reading: Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh

Title: Do You Dream of Terra-Two?

Author: Temi Oh

From the back: A century ago, scientists theorised that a habitable planet existed in a nearby solar system. Today, ten astronauts will leave a dying Earth to find it. Four are decorated veterans of the 20th century’s space-race. And six are teenagers, graduates of the exclusive Dalton Academy, who’ve been in training for this mission for most of their lives.

It will take the team twenty-three years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years spent in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong. And something always goes wrong.

The gist: Do You Dream of Terra-Two? is a beautiful, touching, tragic yet hopeful journey into space. It’s part coming of age story, part space exploration. There’s a brilliant balance between the science and the people, solid science and alternate history creating a background for each character to carve out their own distinct journey, lay down their thoughts as they grow through the novel.

Oh brings a sort of introspection to the book, an underlying commentary about the political and financial driving forces behind space exploration and power, that brings to mind the classics of science fiction. She allows the characters to question what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, whether they even want to do it. She racks up the tension so deftly that I was forever dreading turning the page because tragedy was surely going to strike.

Do you dream of Terra-Two? is a beautiful novel that explores the start of a journey into space, to another world, with an almost dreamlike quality like the title itself. It’s the preparation and the lift off. It’s the first steps into space on a journey almost unfathomably long. It’s hope, despair and determination all rolled into one.

And I hope Temi Oh gets to share what happens next. Sequel please.

Favourite line: He was no pilgrim, he was no humble dreamer fated for the stars.

Read if: You want a coming of age science fiction novel, that is as much about the people as the space

Read with: No plans for any long-haul journeys any time soon

Get it: Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh

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