Book Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5/5 Stars)
Life is hard enough after you’ve just graduated high school. You’re trying to choose a college, you’re saying goodbye to good friends, and the world is at your finger tips. But for Natalie Morrigan and her close friends – Tawny, Leo, Brant, and Owen – there world is turned upside down by a series of bombings. Suddenly, their lives are turned upside down, their homes destroyed with their parents missing. At first, they think they’re mere pawns in the game…until they discover a mysterious ability granted to them at birth.
Extant is the fast paced first novel of The Coelcanth Project by Sarah Newland. In a gripping YA Sci-Fi novel, the readers embark on a journey that is filled with questions about morality, eugenics, and the definition of peace. Who can be trusted? And are Natalie and her friends making the right decision?
This story definitely hooked me right from the first page. Newland has a remarkable ability to write fast paced scenes while keeping the science fun and easy to understand. Natalie serves as a wonderful character to learn this through; her inner monologue is exactly what you would expect of an over-analytical teenager who is more interested in reading, mathematics and theories than being surrounded by the action. Her friends serve as good foils to her overall character too: Leo the protector, Tawny the feisty, Brant the “comic”, and Owen the “nerd”. Each one provides a valuable part of the team.
Yet, while Newland writes compelling action and fast paced scenes, some of this severely hindered the plot. I would have liked to see a bit more places where the character “breathe”. The story doesn’t take long to jump into the action, so the reader has to learn about the characters in these high adrenaline instances, rather than taking a bit of time to get to know them in calmer circumstances. That, coupled with the back and forth between past and present (which might have served as foreshadowing a discovery towards the end of the book), made me feel like I was constantly on the run. This, of course, is a testament to Newland’s writing ability, that the reader feels the anxiety pulsing through the pages. I personally would have liked a bit more time to get to really know Natalie and her friends though.
Still, if you want a fast paced novel filled with action and friendship, plus a little bit of science, Extant is definitely for you. I personally look forward to the next installment…since this is just a mere taste of what is to come.
What’s it about?
Every family has secrets, and Natalie Morrigan was used to being kept in the dark. But when her childhood home is destroyed following her parents mysterious disappearance, Natalie discovers her secrets are darker than most. With no where else to turn, Natalie and her four lifelong friends seek out their estranged Uncle for guidance, and he cannot wait to tell her the truth.
Her entire life has been a lie.
Burdened with a power that will change the world, Natalie is hunted by Nautilus: an organization that claims it will use her power to achieve an everlasting peace. But if Natalie has learned anything, it’s that things aren’t always what they seem.