By Danielle Chemtob
Author: A.J. Paquette
Release Date: June 2013
I appreciate a good science fiction/apocalyptic/alien planet novel just as much as the next person, if not more. Yet, upon picking up Paradox, I didn’t expect the intricate, original premise that A.J. Paquette brilliantly creates in her first Young Adult novel.
The novel follows a girl named Ana, who wakes up on a spaceship with no memory of where or who she is. She doesn’t know anything about herself, other than her name, which is on a nametag she found clipped to her chest. But she soon discovers that she is on an alien planet called Paradox, and that she has a device with a ticking countdown attached to her wrist. Subsequently, she sets off to find the location marked with an “X” on her map before the countdown runs down, but, as one can imagine, encounters obstacles along the way.
Now, the average person reading this review is probably thinking: “a girl who wakes up with amnesia? We’ve seen that one a million times”. Well yes, but, the similarities to other stories ends there, especially with the twist mid-way through that will make the reader throw the book across the room and exclaim: “WHAT JUST HAPPENED?” Unfortunately, I cannot reveal this plot-twist, but I guarantee you that it will completely change the course of the novel. Just stick with the book all the way through—it gets even better as it progresses.
Throughout the book, Paquette’s writing is superb, and the plot is so fast-paced and action packed that it will keep the reader glued to the page (literally– I think I put it down once to eat, and that was about it). In particular, the uniqueness of Paquette’s style really stands out in this novel with her inclusion of newspaper articles from back on earth to give the reader subtle hints about Ana’s mission on Paradox. I would highly recommend Paradox for anyone who’s a fan of apocalyptic/science fiction novels, or really for anyone looking for an exhilarating page-turner.
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