If you enjoy science fiction, especially YA science fiction, this anthology surely has something for you. I don’t read many short story collections because I never order an appetizer when there is steak on the menu, but I’m glad I gave this one a shot. Space, aliens, rebellion, young love, revenge, giant desert space lizards – the variety is guaranteed to give you something you will adore. As a matter of fact, there was only one story I didn’t like. So, even if you just buy it for your coffee break reads or, you know, as bathroom literature, I don’t think you will be disappointed.
ZEUS PROTOCOL 000101: REBOOT, SCAN.
THREAT LEVEL: UNKNOWN.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: INCREASE MILITARY PRESENCE.
There’s trouble brewing on Polaris. Under the watchful eye of the space station’s supercomputer, Zeus, the lower classes are awakening to the corruption of their wealthy, privileged, and protected leaders. When the quiet voices of protest get louder and alliances form, change dawns on the horizon. But the small acts of resistance won’t be enough to subvert the system for long. Zeus is alert to the growing threat level, and he will do whatever’s necessary—including purging the lower levels of Polaris—to preserve stability for all.
Inspired by the mythology of the constellations hung around Polaris, the seven stories in Polaris Awakening reimagine the classic characters in a futuristic world where alien creatures are commonplace, combat arenas are used for entertaining foreign dignitaries, slaves and soldiers stand side by side, and music orchestrates a revolution. And their first acts of defiance are just the beginning. Polaris will never be the same.
ZEUS PROTOCOL 000099: ENGAGE THREAT.
This is a strong YA science fiction anthology. Each story is connected to the Polaris space station, a station whose systems are indicating a higher rebellion and threat level than before. Causes are unknown, but readers will soon see how love, betrayal, greed, revenge, and the universal conflicts of growing up contribute to the unease. I enjoyed all of the stories, but I also remembered why I don’t particularly like short story anthologies – I wanted all of them to continue! While I initially felt baffled by the intro, I quickly picked up on the social and political systems behind the society in and around Polaris. Some stories connect with only the overall structure, while others have crossover elements, but each one has a unique plot and a set of characters that readers will care about. My favorite story was “Gemini” by Janna Jennings. It involves a missing space princess, a seriously upgraded boxing match, and a regret that left me dying to finish what this story started.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.