Freedom’s Fate is a sci-fi novel by Jennie Taylor. The story is situated in the ship UNSC Freedom, in which the ship has been launched from Earth to find a new habitable planet for humans to live. On this ship, fifteen-year-old Callie is determined to become the captain after being left orphan when she was just five yours old. In her quest to become captain, she faces several difficulties, including that of needing to be social and interact with the other crew members. Furthermore, she has to face her sexual orientation and her feelings for another girl, with resistance and harassment from other people residing in the same ship.
Note: I had written this review back in January on steemit, and posting it now as I have read Book 2 in the series, which I’ll write about soon.
As I did on Goodreads, I have to give this book a 5-star rating. Why? It was captivating on several levels. To begin with, the Sci-Fi setting intrigued me when I read Chapter 1 as a free excerpt from Kindle Scout. I had to read more! And when Jennie Taylor self-published the book, it had to be part of my Kindle Library.
The Sci-Fi theme is very interesting, Earth has launched 8 ships to look for a habitable place for the human race. The ship is equipped with several technologies to scan resources, mine them, and maintain itself while it is in space. As readers, we meet a lot of the crew members and their various roles, commanders, engineers, administration, medics, and I’m missing out a few. Life on the ship has a lot of variety and is represented adequately. I do feel that the author could have spent more time describing certain aspects of the ship/crew or their role.
One aspect which I loved about the book is that the protagonist, Callie, is a lesbian. Even though it is not a main part of the story, it does interact with her quest of becoming captain. Furthermore, her story is relatable in several dimensions. First of all, trying to hide the crush she has can be challenging. Secondly, there are a group of people on the ship that do not approve of homosexuality and protest against ‘devious’ relationships.
Projection of Society
The book projects a lot of current society onto this story, which is something I loved and hated. I would expect people on a ship in space hundreds of years from now would have accepted homosexuality. Yet, the book expresses homophobia well, and I am sure that readers can relate to that pain. Another issue is that Callie is vegetarian. All well and good. However, during social interactions, she has to specifically look for vegetarian food and is encountered by the typical question “You eat cheese? Weren’t you vegetarian?”. In such future, I would expect adults to know the difference between veganism and vegetarianism (and the character wasn’t a dumb person), as well as it raises questions on food source on the ship. Do they have cows that they milk in the basement? I am pretty sure that with all the technology and science equipped, meat could easily be replaced by vegan sources. It may be a personal opinion, but I do doubt that humans will keep eating EXACTLY the same food, with no innovation. Yes, pizzas and ice-creams are great, but I would hope the future would bring more interesting things.
Now that I have ended my silly, stupid rant, I still think the book is worth reading. I loved it. I could not stop reading. The story has some twists and plots that are quite unexpected, which I will not be spoiling in this review. Once I crossed the half-way point, there was no way I could stop reading. In fact, half of it was read in one day and I could not stop crying for a whole hour (yes, the story has some real tear-jerking moments). Overall, the book is an interesting novel on YA, Sci-Fi and LGBT themes and I could say it is my favourite read of the past couple of years.