The New World (The New World, #1) by Chad Wannamaker

Great beginning, an engaging story, but I was left wondering where’s the rest of the book?

When the small spacecraft had crashed into the lake, Bob Mackey and his brother-in-law, Dan, had gone to see if there were survivors and if they could help. What they found was a dying alien mother protecting her child. With her last breaths, she entrusted the small, furry female to Bob’s care, calling her Tammy. It isn’t until 11 years later that humans will make contact with others of her race – the jZav’Etch, taller, humanoid cat-like beings.

Bob took the young creature home to his remote station and acreage in the wilderness of Juniper, the planet he called home. Tammy became a part of the family, just one of Bob and his wife, Deborah’s, three children. Time passed. She grew up along with the others and is seen as one of the Mackey family, and one of them, by the close-knit community of people colonizing Juniper, a frontier planet outside of the Conglomerated Planets. She’s started to notice boys, and they’ve begun to notice her as well.

One weekend, she and her friends are out beyond the family’s station helping her older brother, Mike, build his own place, which he’ll eventually move to and start his own business and family. They see another spacecraft go down in a wild, hard-to-reach location. The young people make their way to the crash site where they find a heavily-damaged ship and one critically injured survivor – a jZav’Etch like Tammy! When communications and other utilities are knocked out and shuttles coming to their assistance are shot down, they realize the planet is under attack by whoever was after the newcomer and who are now after them!

What to say about The New World? The writing is smooth and easy to read, but there just wasn’t enough of it. The reader is left hanging at a waypoint in the story without a truly compelling reason to read further.

I enjoyed the story, the characters, and the setting. I was most definitely and immediately engaged by what I read. In fact, I was quickly reminded of John Marsden’s YA Tomorrow series, which is one of my favorites. But, frankly, the story needed to be fleshed out with a little more detail on the characters, the world-building, and the background situation. We don’t know the reason for or the exact nature of the peril the characters and their world are in. I felt we only had a superficial acquaintance with most of the main characters and their lives when the book ended. The story seems to just stop – not in cliffhanger fashion but as if the book’s last half was cut off.

I have also struggled to categorize this book. When the series is further along, I might have a better idea, but I think it will have a wide appeal – adults, YA, and middle-grades. It honestly has the feel of an epic middle-age series (except for the few swear words, drinking, and some frank mentions of sexual activity.) I can see this as a great read-aloud book. It also has a YA feel with the theme of searching for one’s identity and because of the main characters’ ages and life stages.

I recommend The New World, with reservations, to readers that enjoy a YA SciFi story without a lot of discussion of science and hardware. I would also recommend to friends that they wait until at least the next book in the series was available before giving it a read. Having said this, I will be following this author so that I can buy this next book to see what happens next.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from Reedsy Discovery.

See my original review on Reedsy Discovery!

11 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Sci-Fi, Young adult

11 responses to “The New World (The New World, #1) by Chad Wannamaker

  1. This one would annoy me, I don’t like to be left hanging.

  2. Bookworms corner blog spot

    I have read books before that just end and I have always felt short changed. Hopefully the series improves. Great review.

  3. Glad you enjoyed. I love that you really analyzed which age groups and readers this might be best for.

  4. As much as I like a good sci-fi book, I can’t really go for the ones that become too technical…

  5. Glad you enjoyed it. This is not my cup of tea though.

  6. Vidya Tiru

    that cover is pretty cool.. and having recently binged on a tv series’ season 1, that ended in a cliffhanger, and then learning there is no season 2, i think i will wait for more of this series to be out 🙂

  7. yourwordsmyink

    I love sci-fi books so I will definitely check this one out

  8. I’m not much of a sci fi fan so this book wouldn’t be for me. Sorry you were left wanting more. Great review.

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