On her last trip around the solar system as the captain of a cruise ship, Lyn Randall is getting ready for the next step in her life, a life she expects to be quiet and spent flying old planes in Montana. Close to her family, not on the other side of the galaxy. An unexplained event propels the ship to a different solar system, four light-years from Earth. With Lyn in charge of hundreds of tourists and no clear way to take them home.
This book was a complete surprise. An excellent one. I didn’t know what to expect, I know I gave the blurb a cursory glance before deciding to read, but not enough to have any real idea of what the story was about. I kept getting surprised, living in the same uncertainty as the characters. Will they manage to go home? Do they want to go home? Will they find a new planet to settle on? Can they trust their captain? Do Earth rules still make sense? The author maintains the thrill all along, even as she instils feelings of exhaustion, excitement, fear, hope. Lyn Randall is a fantastic character, noble and flawed, wise and scared. Around her are several fascinating people, all very relatable and human (even the ones who aren’t human). The world-building is perfect, a world at once familiar (Earth a century from now, past – or is it? – the problems we’re struggling with now in terms of climate change and greed) and disconcerting. Burnes sprinkles just enough science to keep things exciting but not so much that philistines like me will get bored. There’s no info dumping, or when there is, from a couple of characters, they’re interrupted by others who, quite frankly, don’t care for details. The way they interact, in these times of crisis, none of them perfect, none of them (too) terrible either, everything makes sense and feels plausible.
As I’ve written often, I’m a character-driven reader. If I don’t care for the characters in any way, the best plot will be wasted on me. And while romance isn’t always necessary for me to enjoy, it often helps get me to care. In Endurance, I felt the balance between plot and characters was perfect for me, with a romance arc not at the centre of the story but important enough that I could relate to what was happening between the characters.
The ending didn’t leave me feeling there were too many untied loose ends but is still open enough that I really hope the author has a sequel planned, and soon.
Endurance @ Bookshop.org / IndieBound / Kobo / Book Depository / Books-A-Million / amazon
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