Genre: post apocalyptic, sci-fi fantasy
Paperback: 240 Pages
Publication: June 25, 2013 by Random House BFYR
Ana only knows her name because of the tag she finds pinned to her jumpsuit. Waking in the featureless compartment of a rocket ship, she opens the hatch to discover that she has landed on a barren alien world. Instructions in her pocket tell her to observe and to survive, no doubt with help from the wicked-looking knives she carries on her belt. But to what purpose?
Meeting up with three other teens--one boy seems strangely familiar--Ana treks across the inhospitable landscape, occasionally encountering odd twists of light that carry glimpses of people back on Earth. They're working on some sort of problem, and the situation is critical. What is the connection between Ana's mission on this planet and the crisis back on Earth, and how is she supposed to figure out the answer when she can't remember anything?
◆ A copy was provided by Random House for review ◆
Paradox is a quick sci-fi fantasy read that readers of all ages may enjoy.
The story is told in a simplistic, straightforward style. It doesn't delve much into who the characters are, only ever giving us the information we need to know. Initially, I didn't know what to think about the brevity of the writing. It seemed more like the kind of writing I'd expect from a children's chapter book, and this actually is a book that I'd recommend to middle-grade readers. The writing grew on me, however, and I ended up enjoying this book.
I like how the writing reflects the blank slate that is Ana's mind because she doesn't have prior expectations of the world around her and doesn't have much to base her judgments upon. It also suits her character. Ana isn't one to think much before making decisions. She's your typical passionate, hot-headed teenager. There were times when I wanted to tell her to relax and follow Todd's lead (he's very calm and level-headed), but I do understand her anxiety. After all, she did wake up in a strange world with no memories much less any idea about what she's doing there.
Todd makes a great foil for Ana's character, and they make a good team on their trek in the strange world of Paradox. The other characters have their own unique personalities and stories that heighten the mystery of the plot. I especially appreciate how it is during Ana's experiences on Paradox while suffering from memory loss that she, and thus we the readers, learn more about herself than we would have had the weight of her prior experiences influenced her judgments.
In a way, you could say that it is a sci-fi fantasy adventure at heart because the story focuses on the mission and not so much on character development, though Ana does show some signs of growth when she learns to accept her past and move towards the future. At the same time, it is because the plot is so simple that Ana's story carries so much weight.