On the Edge of Gone
by Duyvis, Corinne

In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2034, a comet is due to hit the Earth within the hour and Denise, who is autistic, must try to find her missing sister and help her neglectful, undependable mother safely aboard a spaceship.

Corinne Duyvis is a novelist and short story writer and an editor of the website Disability in Kidlit. She&;s a graduate of the Clarion West writer&;s workshop and lives in Amsterdam. Her first novel, Otherbound, received four starred reviews, and Horn Book called it &;a humdinger of an adventure that contains the agony of loyalty, the allure of magic, and, most gratifyingly, the element of surprise.&; www.corinneduyvis.net.

A comet is coming, and the world as Denise knows it is probably going to end. Civilians have been informed to take shelter, close down their houses, and stay as safe as they can. On the predicted day of the event, Denise's perennially high and easily distracted mother waits too long for Denise's sister, Iris, and they end up instead aboard a generation ship-a skills-based space station community sent to colonize other planets. The ship must leave before impact, but Denise worries she won't be determined useful enough to stay, and her autism makes the shattered world and the rules aboard the ship ever harder to parse. She tries to help the crew of the ship and, along the way, has to keep herself safe. Denise's fear is palpable throughout, which helps to push this sci-fi novel into thriller territory. Though this is unlikely to convert science fiction doubtfuls, Duyvis' attention to detail and strong descriptions will recommend this to fans of the genre. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

What should a mixed-race, autistic, 16-year-old be willing to do to avoid certain death in an apocalyptic hellhole? A comet's about to strike Earth, and the rich, powerful, or lucky have choices: they can survive in underground shelters for the decades until the planet is once again easily habitable or take to a generation ship headed to deep space. Daughter of a Dutch woman and an Afro-Surinamese man, Denise is none of the above; her family has a spot in a temporary shelter, after which they'll be stuck in the post-comet wasteland Amsterdam (and much of the planet) will have become. Denise finds temporary refuge in a secret generation ship, but the residents jealously guard their precious resources. She's desperate to find a place on the ship for her family, but on a ship where the two choices are "usefulness or death," she worries they'll never choose her drug-addicted mother—or her autistic self. Meanwhile she seeks her sister, lost in the rubble of Amsterdam. Herois m isn't restricted to Denise, nor is she the only complex, deeply imperfect character to make selfish choices in this unbearable world. It's unsurprising that Duyvis, autistic herself, draws a superbly nuanced portrait of Denise as person (not a collection of pitiable autism tropes or cure narratives), but what makes this a winner is the nerve-wracking adventure. Life-affirming science fiction with spaceships, optimism in the apocalypse, and a diverse cast that reflects the real world. (Science fiction. 11-15) Copyright Kirkus 2016 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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