Thursday, February 28, 2019

ARC Review: The Pioneer by Bridget Tyler

The Pioneer
Author: Bridget Tyler
Publication: HarperTeen (March 5, 2019)

Description: Packed with action and unexpected twists, this addictive page-turner is perfect for fans of Illuminae and Defy the Stars!

When Jo steps onto planet Tau Ceti e for the first time, she’s ready to put the past behind her and begin again. After all, as a pioneer, she has the job of helping build a new home away from Earth.

But underneath the idyllic surface of their new home, there’s something very wrong. And when Jo accidentally uncovers a devastating secret that could destroy everything they’ve worked for, suddenly the future doesn’t seem so bright.

With the fate of the pioneers in her hands, Jo must decide how far she’s willing to go to expose the truth—before the truth destroys them all.

My Thoughts: This excellent space adventure introduces readers to Joanna Watson. Jo has been training to be a pioneer for all of her life. Her parents are involved in the program to resettle on a newly discovered planet as are her sister and brother. Jo is a cadet pilot when the story begins. Of course the story also begins with a near tragedy on their spaceship which results in the death of her brother Teddy and enough damage to Jo's heart and lungs that she can never be a pilot again.

Jo has to readjust her plans when she can no longer do the job she has trained for. She is still excited about the beauty of their new home on Tau Ceti e. She's fascinated with the flora and fauna. But things are not as Jo believed them to be. According to their charter, they are not supposed to settle on a planet that already has sentient life.

When Jo goes off exploring with her sister Beth, young Marine Jay Lim, and Chris, she doesn't expect to find the remainders of the first group to explore the planet. She believed, and was told, that they were off exploring further after okaying the planet for settlement.

Finding a flex (wrist computer) left by the first explorers, Jo is determined to explore it to find out what happened to them. Following the clues lead to a clearing with three graves, leaving questions only about what happened to Dr. Lucille Brown. While at the gravesite, they are attacked by heavily camouflaged predators and rescued by another group of aliens.

Dr. Brown was also rescued by the same group and has sworn allegiance to the leader of these underground dwellers who use sound and echolocation to navigate their dark underground world. The leader Ord has a plan. Dr. Brown knows that Jo's sister Beth has developed a genetically tailored bacteria to make the planet more ready for earth-based plants. What none of the new arrivals knows is that the Stage Three bacteria will kill the phytoraptors who are the enemy of Ord and his people. Of course, then it will likely go on and kill the trees Ord's people depend on but Ord won't see that part.

Jo has to prevent the Stage Three bacteria from getting into Ord's hands, save the phytoraptors, and save her fellow pioneers. She doesn't know why her mother agreed to carry on with the settlement when she must have known about the intelligent life already on the planet. There's a reason that changes everything.

This was exciting and filled with action. It even has a little romance. It also has a lot of growing up for Jo and her friends. I enjoyed it very much.

Favorite Quote:
"Walk in the present, Joey. That's the only way we get to see the future."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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