by M.K. England
Published on December 18, 2018 by HarperTeen
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.
But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.
On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.
They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.
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I’m so torn on how to talk about The Disasters because there are some things that I absolutely LOVED about it but then the rest of it was just an average read for me.
So let’s talk about the good stuff first.
As a whole, The Disasters is an entertaining story perfect for sci-fi fans who aren’t looking to get bogged down into the actual science/tech of the world. At its heart, it’s about a group of teens who failed out of the Academy and are now the only ones who can save the colonies of Earth. Think big space adventure style. Lots of fun, plenty of comedic moments, plans that totally go haywire, and a good bit of action thrown into the mix.
The group of former students hadn’t met prior to the start of the book so they not only are on the run for their life but have to learn to trust each other — total strangers — with their lives. I thought that was really well done and they were pretty entertaining. Each had their own little idiosyncrasies that made them stand out from the rest of the group. And the author did a fantastic job with bringing together a diverse group of characters together for this story and letting that diversity shine through and not just become a plot point.
At the same time, there were certain parts of the story that never made sense to me, like why this particular group of characters didn’t make it into the Academy and how they’d suddenly be branded criminals. The entire first chapter or so was kind of all over the place and then the rest of the book followed the teens on the run. And still on the run. Oh look, another enemy, guess we’re running again. While within the scenes I was fairly entertained, looking at the plot overall wasn’t such a great view.
The stakes were never high enough, or at least never felt like it. Everything always worked out and even when they were in trouble, I didn’t get the tension I’d expect (and hope for). There just wasn’t enough. . . depth, for lack of better words, to the story. Which doesn’t make it a bad book, just an average read for me.
As for the audio, I really enjoyed the narrator for this one and I think that listening to the audiobook is the main reason I found this book so much fun. There were times that I switched to the print version and it just wasn’t the same so I recommend checking out the audiobook if you like them!
I’d definitely recommend this to YA sci-fi fans looking for a quick, light read. The Disasters is entertaining and diverse and fun. Not for readers looking for a super sci-fi-y read (honestly at times I felt this book could have been set in modern day with a few tweaks and it wouldn’t have made a huge difference). Certainly a solid book!