On The Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

On The Edge of Gone is the second novel by Dutch autistic writer, Corinne Duyvis and is a fast-paced, action-packed, apocalyptic young adult novel.

Pictured is the 2016 Kindle edition, published by Amulet Books. Winner of the Neukom Literary Arts Award for Speculative Fiction, 2018.

Synopsis

Set in the year 2034 in The Netherlands, we follow our main character Denise, a black autistic cat-loving girl, when a deadly comet strikes Earth, devastating all of Europe. Unable to get to their government assigned shelter in time, all hope seems lost until Denise and her mother encounter a friend who takes them to safety aboard a generation spaceship. After impact, Denise and her mother are told to leave the ship so Denise takes it upon herself to convince the captain to let them stay, all whilst trying to locate her missing sister.

Review

This science-fiction, young adult novel was full of thrilling action and momentum. The plot rarely slows down and new challenges constantly crop up as life and death hangs in the balance. I enjoyed the fast-paced nature of this novel but I also thought the characterisation of the cast came together nicely. I enjoyed the friendship between Denise and Max and also how the taut relationship between Denise and her mother is explored.

The narrative effectively encapsulates what life is like for Denise existing on the intersections of both neurodivergent and racial bias. It depicts how Denise has to deal with people either not taking her condition seriously or subjecting her to negative stereotyping because of it, such as her mother who constantly feels the need to speak for her and often treats Denise’s condition as an illness. I liked the characterisation of Denise’s sister, Iris and the conflict that is presented when the sisters have opposing views. Iris is a trans bisexual black girl and as much as I appreciate the diverse representation, she’s mostly absent until the second part of the narrative and could’ve been developed more.

As well as lots of action, On The Edge of Gone has ample scientific value and futuristic technology. Though science-fiction isn’t necessarily my go-to genre, I found myself enjoying the visual dynamic nature of this novel.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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