Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 160
The Pioneer
(Updated: May 15, 2020)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Joanna, 'Jo', has dreamed of leaving Earth and being a pioneer on a new planet since forever. When a terrible accident occurs before she leaves Earth, she loses not only her beloved brother Teddy, but the ability to fly. Once she arrives on the new planet Tau Ceti E, she feels something is off. Then she finds a terrible secret. A secret that her own mother knew about. Now she has to decide whether she can expose the truth to the rest of the crew before it destroys all of them.

What worked: Fast-paced Sci-fi adventure where a family finds out that the 'perfect' world to inhabit isn't what they thought. Think Lost in Space meets the world of Tau Ceti E.

Tyler has developed a rich new planet with vivid descriptions of floral and native life.There's twin moons,carnivorous trees, and crystal mountains. She also shows in detail what is involved in intergalactic travel and what each member responsibilities are.

I did like how Jo's relationship with not only her surviving older sister, but best friend changes after the tragic death of her brother. Besides remorse and guilt, Jo feels some jealousy that she no longer can fly.

The rituals of the Sorrows is equally fascinating. And the carnivorous plant life is chilling and creepy. The big secret is revealed when Jo and some other members of the ship stumble on the fact that the original ship didn't leave. That's when the action, suspense hit the readers big time. Readers are swept into the planet's deadly secrets and what some on the planet will do to keep those secrets.

The only issue I had with the story was I didn't think there was enough emotion and also some of the relationships felt flat. Jay and Jo's sudden attraction felt too forced. Some of the dialogue felt cheesy at times.

Kuddos though for emphasis on families, including a lesbian couple. Jo's family felt like one from Lost In Space with their love, arguing, and being loyal no matter how upset they might be with each other.

Action-packed Sci-fi adventure set on planet where one cast member needs to find the courage to confront a deadly secret before it kills not only them, but the other extraterrestrial life.
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