Corinne Duyvis came into the spotlight when her debut novel, Otherbound, was released. Now she returns with an apocalyptic thriller for young adults, On The Edge of Gone. In this book, she creates a believable, character driven story that will keep readers up through the night.
The narrative is based in the year 2035 and Denise, an autistic girl, is assigned to a temporary shelter. However, a series of events leads them to a generation ship that will leave earth to colonize new worlds. But, due to Denise’s autism, she may not be useful enough to be granted entry onto this generation ship. This plot may sound like a standard young adult fantasy novel, although it is far more than that, and therefore should be given the right amount of credit. There are many apocalyptic thrillers for young adult readers, but none that are so character focused and full of vivid detail. This novel has a hint of realism, which is a top priority for a young adult novel. On The Edge of Gone asks the reader, who is useful to save? This central question brings up important moral dilemmas, that Duyvis is able to handle with ease.
Although the novel does have a slow start, the story starts to gain pace as we are given twists within the story line. The novel has a small cast of characters, which can seem to limit the potential of any book. In this instance though, Duyvis takes these characters and turns them into relatable and convincing people. These characters are then placed into a plot that is exciting and unpredictable. The key to good YA fiction is how the author tackles moral quandaries, such as disability and loyalty in this case. Duyvis handles these situations in a way that all teenagers will be able to relate to, whilst learning key ethical principles.
This is a face paced read, full of twists and captivating characters. Although it is focused on the younger market, older readers may find some enjoyment in this tale of survival. It also raises important issues regarding autism and shows, in the face of any danger, everyone really matters. One of the best apocalyptic thrillers, and certainly one of the most character centred, in years.
ON THE EDGE OF GONE / AUTHOR: CORINNE DUYVIS / PUBLISHER: ABRAMS BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: 8TH MARCH