Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Debbie--have you seen... DARK ENERGY by Robison Wells

A reader in Indiana wrote to ask me about Dark Energy by Robison Wells, due out in March, from HarperTeen. Here's a review, from Kirkus:
Wells is back with a new sci-fi adventure that comments on U.S. history. 
Half-Navajo Alice loves living in Florida, where every day is sunny and warm. She’s totally unprepared to follow her white, widowed father to Minnesota’s wind-swept snowfields. But when the first ship from outer space crash-lands, as NASA’s director of special projects, her dad absolutely, positively has to be there—which means Alice has to be there as well. Enrolled in a nearby boarding school with very few other students of color, she watches with fascination as the ship finally opens to reveal aliens that look very much like humans. Encouraged by her father to befriend two of the shipwreck survivors, Alice and her roommates welcome them to school. It all seems relatively easy…until the rest of the fleet arrives and starts to hunt for her new friends. Suddenly, nothing is easy, nothing is the same, and nowhere is safe. Wells displays an awareness of the need for ethnic diversity in books for kids. Alice is conscious of the parallels between the aliens’ landing and the arrival of white people in North America; her boyfriend is an Indian kid who’s grown up in the United States. Alice’s breezy narration and short chapters keep the pages flipping. A one-time resident of the Navajo Reservation, Wells discusses the challenges of writing about the First Nations in an author’s note.

The last line points to one reason I want to read the book. What, I wonder, does Wells discuss? Another is the first line, that this story comments on U.S. history. Hmmm. I'm going to see if I can get an ARC. I'll be back!

Update, March 28, 2016
I reviewed the book on March 27, 2016. In short: not recommended.

2 comments:

Kacy Helwick said...

Do you ever use Edelweiss (edelweiss.abovethetreeline.com) for digital ARCs? I was just scrolling through the newly added titles and saw this book had a "Request Digital RC" button.

Debbie Reese said...

Hi Kacy,

Yes, I use Edelweiss and NetGalley. Colleagues use them, too. Sometimes we're approved (at Edelweiss), and sometimes not. Can't tell what the approval process is, but so far, no access to DARK ENERGY. I do have colleagues who've told me a lot about it, though!