Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Space Academy by Hannah Hopkins.
In 2017, Hannah Hopkins released a self-published novel entitled ‘The Split’; the story of four teenagers navigating life after Earth as they journey through space to a new planet. Two years later, the book was picked up by ‘The Conrad Press’ and re-vamped as ‘Space Academy,’ with a new cover, new title and new additions to the story. ‘Space Academy’ was released in 2020, kickstarting Hannah’s career as a writer.
Hannah is currently busy writing a historical fiction novel with a feminist twist. She spends the rest of her time working at a University and caring for her two young children in the UK.
About the book
It’s the year 2100. Earth is dying. A young woman, Elsie, has risked everything to get her newborn son, Will, aboard ‘The Mayflower’ – a spaceship that will transport a select number of people to a new planet they can call home. Elsie’s luck takes a turn when she discovers the captain of ‘The Mayflower’ is an old friend. He allows her to board with her son, giving them a place on the luxurious Floor One, where they live amongst the most honoured of ‘The Mayflower’s’ passengers.
Thirteen years later, and Will is ready to start school at Space Academy, an institute specialising in subjects such as Alien Studies, Technology, and Rocket Control. While a pupil there, Will starts to uncover secrets about his father’s death, becoming wrapped in a mystery that he and his friends must solve if they are to have any hope of saving humanity from the threat that lies in wait.
Will has plenty of questions about is father and his death. He throws a mention in here and there to get his mother to finally fill him in on the details. What is worth staying so tight lipped about? What is his mother hiding?
I thought the historical parallels were interesting – naming the ship The Mayflower and having only the chosen be part of the saved race. Humankind is on its way to reboot, rebuild and live in space. The handpicked crop of people, which is quite elitist and also no different from life before the catastrophic changes. So much for save the world and its inhabitants.
The Mayflower has echoes of the Titanic on her maiden voyage, whereby the worth of human is dictated by which floor they live on. First floor is the elite and the further down you get the less money your parents have in their pocket.
It’s a YA sci-fi dystopian read with a space mystery vibe. Will and his teenage gang of friends are navigating the space boarding school experience, which includes the same kind of opportunistic bullies, hierarchies and distinctions of class remaining firmly in place, despite the end of the world. You would think the human race would change just a bit to suit the new circumstances instead of carrying on with the same destructive patterns and habits.
Where did the alien animals come from and how do they know they are animals, as opposed to the actual species of alien. Seems a wee bit colonialist to presume humans are the only species out there in the great open space. There are plenty of unanswered questions and a lot of ideas left with a bare frame and lack of substance. Just minor hiccups in an otherwise pacy read.