The desolate setting of the vast universe, provides an evocative backdrop for this poignant dystopian tale written in free verse by Crittenden. Centuries of environmental devastation has destroyed Earth, making it unsuitable to live. The inhabitant must journey across the universe to find a new home. But the world of galaxies is desolate and grim and without a solid ground. Struggling to come to terms with the trauma of Earth’s destruction, the inhabitant has nothing but dreams of the past and hopes for the future combined with their experience if they want to find a new home. Crittenden makes good use of usual environmental components and space elements of science fiction, delivering a devastatingly bleak yet hopeful tale. The writing is crisp, and there is authenticity to the worldbuilding as the lone protagonist shuffles between galaxies trying to look for a place to live. Introspective and determined, the inhabitant remains an intriguing protagonist, making it easy for the reader to root for him. Lonely and longing for belonging, he ultimately finds his purpose in the searching. The sense of hope is alive in the protagonist’s heart, and it’s alive in this story that combines complex themes of humanity’s need for belongingness and companionship, thrill of searching, despair, dream, hope, desire, determination, and resilience in the face of extreme circumstances in pristine verse. A promising debut.
Categories: Science Fiction