This was my latest read while cooped up inside during the east coast blizzard – R.M. Pearcy’s Axiom.
In this first installment, Earth has been ravaged by biological warfare, and the Founders of old have constructed Axiom – a great, gleaming city on Earth’s moon.
And in this dystopian, sci-fi future, seventeen-year-old Ella Bower is just trying to get to class.
To be clear, Ella is attending Ethos School of Completion, a rigid, ruthless academy. Make it through the year, and you’re paired with your spouse (Thanks, all-powerful Assembly members!) and given your career options.
There are a lot of familiar YA themes in Axiom – heading into a new school, worrying over your uncertain future, getting your first round of love-struck butterflies in your stomach. But with creative twists, Pearcy keeps us tagging after both Ella Bower and the source of Ella’s butterflies: Ella’s female roommate, Carly.
Within ten minutes, I could already imagine what a love note passed in an Ethos classroom might look like:
DO YOU LIKE ME? CHECK ONE:
– HOLY $#!&, DESTROY THIS LETTER, THE ASSEMBLY IS WATCHING
I guess I’m a hopeless romantic, because I always keep my fingers crossed for love, even in fiction. (OK, especially in fiction. And fanfiction.) But honestly, Ethos School of Completion, you are giving me heart palpitations watching these kids backed into a literal choice between life and love. I think my heart restarted when we crash-landed at the ending, though, so we’re all good.
Axiom is kind of a hearty, bite-sized chunk – it clocks in at 50K words, which is enough to get you hooked but still leaves you wanting the next installment. If you want to go on a colonial space adventure for a weekend, try this one on for size!
Axiom, by R.M. Pearcy
Read if you liked the worlds of Ender’s Game, The Giver, or Equilibrium