Do You Dream of Terra-Two? isn’t your typical astronaut-sent-to-deep-space kind of novel. We see the real impacts of decades-long travel on the lives and minds of young men and women who have signed their lives away for this opportunity.
Starting as children, they’ve known they were going to Terra-Two, a distant Earth-like planet ripe for colonization. Besides all of the cool science fiction technology and milestones, we see how each of the characters copes with the permanent changes to their lives. It’s anything but a straightforward journey, and as conflicts arise and things become dire, they must turn to each other to make it through.
INSIDE THE LIVES OF ASTRONAUTS
I found this aspect especially fascinating. While we typically get character backstory for a few paragraphs, this novel makes it a primary focus. We see the memories of the six chosen astronauts as they reminisce on what they’ve left behind on Earth. These aren’t senior astronauts who have studied for decades, gone on multiple missions, and are finally signing up for the big one. These are kids who make an early decision and don’t fully understand what they’ve signed up for. Some take it well, others struggle significantly. The book gives you a great picture of what it’s actually like to travel for decades through space, not fully knowing what you’re heading toward.
THE MENTAL TOLL OF A FOREVER TRIP
The novel doesn’t shy away from the isolation, loneliness, and depression that can come from endless darkness and a lack of human interaction. Before long, their ship is out of contact with Earth, with messages taking days to relay. It’s no longer possible to have conversations with the friends, family, and lovers they’ve left behind. The initial tragedy that clouds the start of their journey is especially trying for the crew. It’s hard to see them struggle, and that sense of realism adds a lot to the narrative.
The narrative never gets tired as you’re continuously moved from person to person.
A SMART WRITING STYLE
The multi-character focus is a smart way to write this kind of sweeping science fiction adventure. We’re able to get in the past and the heads of all of these characters as they journey further and further from home. All of them have different backgrounds and those experiences are essential to understanding how they’ll cope with this new life.
THE PROMISE OF HOPE
There’s a great alternate history at play throughout the novel, imagining a world that has dreamed of colonizing this mystery planet for decades. Outside of the central interactions and conflicts of the main characters, we see the world’s hopes and dreams poured out around them. Millions are watching and waiting for the stories from this new world, wishing they could go on a future journey and coping with the fact that many won’t be able to. It’s a lot of pressure for the crew but serves as a reminder of the impact space exploration has on the imaginations of the masses.
Do You Dream of Terra-Two?
By Temi Oh
Published by Saga Press
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.