Erika Swyler’s Light from Other Stars

Entropy.  Accelerating/decelerating half-life.  De-organizing systems.   I understand nothing.  Science, technology, Earth is mid-Apocalypse, and a failing space ship carries four pioneers to an unnamed planet.  My mind goes “Yadda, yadda, yadda.”  And yet.  And yet….   You must begin in a tiny Florida town, Easter, on the day Challenger explodes.  In a small college lab, an experimental machine named Crucible activates; and time begins to move forward, backward, to slow.  Water freezes, ponds boil and frogs scream, viscous liquid drips from power lines.  Then, in Easter, time stops.

But, you see, this book, this story, does not focus on science and technology, or on an imaginary world.  Rather, it is built around its characters, human beings speaking and thinking as we might, and what treasures they are.  At its core there is Nedda, a prodigiously gifted eleven year old, her mother, a brilliant chemist who bakes experimental cakes and her father, the prof who created Crucible.  No matter that I don’t understand entropy.  What matters is that I will never forget this story and these people.  One of my two best reads so far this year.  Shines as brightly as the light from any star in any galaxy real or imagined.  Hitting bookstores on May 7 (Bloomsbury USA).

Full Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided to me by Bloomsbury USA / Bloomsbury Publishing via NetGalley. I would like to thank the publisher and the author for providing me this opportunity. All opinions expressed herein are my own.