Who would traverse the galaxy in a warp-ship in order to institute Luddism and live out their days milking cows? The sort of people you shouldn’t underestimate, it turns out. A Shattered World by Lelia Rose Foreman collects her Shatterworld trilogy into a one-volume omnibus. This is the Puritan space colonization epic you never knew you needed. This story vivisects human frailty and fidelity under pressures that will strain every bond of spirit and flesh and push an idealistic society to the brink of annihilation.
When young Rejoice In The Lord’s Salvation Holly arrives on New Earth, she finds a barren exoplanet fractured by epoch-ending meteorites and encircled by endless oceans. Rejoice can’t tear her eyes from the stars. Her colony fled religious persecution to begin anew, but she didn’t anticipate the drudgery of subsistence existence, and no one imagined just how alien their refuge would prove to be. With the discovery of intelligent life, the colonists are forced to reevaluate their dearest priorities.
A Shattered World is a first-contact story, yes, but that merely skims the surface. What begins as a coming-of-age adventure matures over the course of the trilogy into a claustrophobic gauntlet of impossible dilemmas and escalating stakes. The arrival of a social Darwinist sex cult from the Old World puts every moral and theological tenet in Rejoice’s life to the test. She must navigate currents which, for all their cultural and ecological vibrancy, threaten to capsize everything she loves. Will she learn to love what’s unlovable before it’s too late?
Best for: Older teens and adults seeking science fiction that stimulates the mind and challenges the soul.
Discern: Intense and distressing interpersonal conflict; various expressions of violence, sometimes graphic; a few sensual moments; non-graphic references to sexuality and sexual deviancy both within and without marriage; references to suicide and abortion; depictions of clinical depression and drug use.