From a young age, studying to become a space cadet is all Maci Layton has known - it's all every kid has known. Society demands children do nothing but prepare for a future in space, even though a select few are actually chosen to be space cadets. Despite this, no one protests or pushes for change. Everything seems peaceful, everyone content.
But unflinching order comes with a cost.
Maci's story offers an intimate look into the mind of someone struggling to come to terms with their anxiety while facing the reality of their world. Between moments of darkness and ugliness, SPVCE celebrates hope, optimism, and the beautiful things that make us human.
SPVCE is a work of fiction in the science fiction and adventure subgenres. The work is aimed at the young adult readership and contains some mild explicit language, and was penned by a. w. karen. This superb space-age adventure tale focuses on the budding career aspirations of protagonist Maci Layton, who is part of a universal program to train young people to be space cadets, preparing for a future beyond our broken planet. So begins a tale of combating anxiety and struggling with one’s place in society, especially in a society where all seems perfect, but the apparent perfection is masking a world on the brink of disaster.
a. w. karen offers a bittersweet but apt allegory for the emotional state of our time, where the fate of the planet seems fragile indeed, and moments of optimism and inspiration are rare for the younger generation as they face the future. The close narrative centered on Maci delivers these delicate emotions perfectly, with dialogue and an atmosphere of high emotional intelligence. The work is well-poised to be accessible to young adult readers whilst also handling some more adult emotions and complex topics. The science-fiction setting holds up an exciting and adventurous mirror to our contemporary world, but without losing the core themes and feelings that make it so relevant for right now. I would recommend SPVCE to readers who enjoy sophisticated young adult works and emotionally conscious, character-led science fiction that doesn’t hold back.