by Paul Collins
Welkin is a good boy. He follows orders. He keeps his nose clean and does what is expected of him. He’s going to need to be disciplined if he is going to survive when he reaches Earth.
Colony has been traveling through space for a century and a half. Their mission was originally to colonize an earth-like planet orbiting Tau Ceti, but ever since the day the elders refer to as The Great Disappointment, Colony has been on its way back to Earth with a new mission in mind – conquering Earth.
In the time that Colony had been in transit, hundreds of years had passed on Earth. Civilization had decayed, and all that remained was humanities leftovers – savages – barbarians. Or so Welkin had been taught.
Welkin learns that while Earth’s conditions are far from comfortable, they aren’t quite what he had been told they were either. Soon, Welkin becomes part of a “family” that seeks to stop Colony in their mission to enact genocide on the Earthborn.
Honestly, my very first thoughts were, “I’m not sure if I’m going to enjoy this.” I liked the cover art on the book, so I thought I would give it a try. Yes, I judged the book by its cover.
It didn’t take too long for me to start enjoying this book, though. Like so many others, I enjoy reading a story about young people who are forced to grow up too fast and make life or death decisions daily. I know that sounds pretty morbid, but I think it’s just the part of me that wishes my younger self could have embarked on some grand adventure. In part, I believe that is why books like this one are so successful – it’s because it allows us to live vicariously through the characters in these stories. We can experience their love, the danger, the mystery, and the adventure, without the inherent risk that comes with all of those things in real life.
What you will find in this book
The characters in this book are very young. The author tells us that the Earthborn are considered adults at age twelve and dead of old age by eighteen.
I have to say that there’s something a little disturbing about one fourteen-year-old killing another fourteen-year-old – even if it is in self-defense. It doesn’t matter if they use a laser, a bow and arrow, or a knife; I cringed a little each time there was an act of violence between the children in the book. I mean, I get it. They are just trying to survive a hostile environment. Not only do they have to watch out for the morally depraved Jabbers, the cannibals, and the people from Colony that believe that they are in every way superior to the Earthborn.
Mentioned in Passing
There are a few topics that are mentioned but that the story doesn’t dwell on.
The Elders on Colony, viewing themselves as superior to the Earthborn, wonder if the people on Earth would make good slaves. They see the Earthborn as no more than animals that might be able to be trained to clear away the remains of what was once human society on Earth. Although the people of Colony were raised under a constant 1.5G (in anticipation of the gravity they expected on their target colony world around Tau Ceti), they still thought it would be beneficial to have help from Earth’s natives to rebuild society. But all that was Plan B.
Colony’s Elders’ main goal was to destroy Earth’s remnant so that the people of Colony could repopulate the Earth for themselves.
There is cursing in this book. In my opinion, it’s not present in overwhelming volumes, but it’s there. It’s the sort of swearing that I believe quite common in today’s Young Adult novels. That doesn’t make it OK, but I thought you should know that it’s there.
My Favorite Quote
Get off the grass!Dario
I haven’t heard this one before. Perhaps it is a colloquial saying that is popular in Australia (where Paul Collins lives). The context in which this phrase is used leads me to believe that it means, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” or “Are you Crazy?”
I enjoyed this book! It took me some time to get into it, but I’m glad that I gave it a chance. I’m actually looking forward to reading books two and three.
I rated this book four stars: I really like it. It’s worth the hardcover.
In fact, The Earthborn is book one in a three-book series, and I’ve ordered book two: The Skyborn from abebooks.com.