I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Toxic by Lydia Kang
Published by Entangled Publishing, LLC on Nov 6, 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, YA, Romance
Cyclo, the first and largest biological ship of its kind, is dying. A small crew of mercenaries have handed over the rights to their life to document the death of the ship, but the abandoned ship is anything but abandoned―one girl has been left behind.
Hana has known nothing but the isolation of a single room and the secret that has kept her there for seventeen years. When she meets Fennec, the boy assigned to watch her, she realizes that there is a world she has yet to experience but she is doomed to never meet.
When crew members begin mysteriously dying, Hana and Fenn realize that they are racing against the death of the ship to find a way to survive―unless someone kills them even before Hana’s truly had a chance to live.
Hannah has been asleep for an entire week on the Cyclo’s matrix. When she wakes, Hannah realizes her mother is gone and she is all alone on a deserted ship. No one on the ship besides her mother and Cyclo even knew of Hannah’s existence. She was never allowed to leave her room on Cyclo and the only human contact Hannah has had for the past seventeen years has been with her mother. Hannah’s mom was the ship’s reproductive engineer and if the leaders ever found out that she created Hannah both of their lives would have been in danger. So Hannah has lived in secret for all of her life.
Fenn has been a screw up for much of his entire life. He is a thief, often stealing trinkets for his sister during his travels and different jobs. He is a disappointment to his family and now that his sister needs medical help, Fenn takes a job from ReCOR, a very powerful and rich company who is not happy that the Cyclo is dying. This job is a one way ticket though. All he and his crew need to do is collect data from the ship before Cyclo turns into an entire biohazard. The generous death benefits he can bequeath to his sister makes the trip well worth it for Fenn even though he knows he will die in the process. No one on the crew ever expected to find Hannah on the ship and Hannah is determined to not let Cyclo die. But, danger is lurking around every corner. Will Hannah, Fenn and the rest of his crew ever make it out alive?
I absolutely loved this story! Cyclo is a sentient ship and took on a motherly role towards Hannah. A ship with feelings you say? OMG! Just the descriptiveness of the ship alone really held my attention. The gel like substance, endoskeleton, and nurturing capacity of Cyclo really had me rooting for Cyclo to live as she almost felt human to me. Lydia Kang’s descriptive writing of Cyclo is amazing. I felt like I can actually see the ship and every detail clearly. Kang took such great care of making Cyclo not only an object, but in a way a character as well. This is something I don’t read or experience too often in Science Fiction books.
Hannah has a very child-like quality to her especially since she has been sequestered for all of her life. She learned everything from reading books from studying Cyclo’s matrix down to every last detail. But the one thing she could not learn is the subtle difference of nuance among real living people. When she first comes into contact with Fenn and his crew you can see how wary she is at first especially since the only human contact she ever had was with her mother and you can see her innocence really shine through when she attaches herself to Fenn. The only issue I had was the insta attraction/love happened very quickly for me, but in a way I think it was needed for Fenn’s sake as he is very down on himself and doesn’t believe he is deserving or worthy enough of love and affection.
I would also like to mention that I loved knowing that Hannah is Korean as I do not read enough books with different ethnic characters, so this was like a breath of fresh air to me. Also, the book is rich in Korean history and Kang did a wonderful job of incorporating it into the story.
The pacing of the story really starts off strong and never wavers in the slightest. I found myself glued to the pages needing to find out what happens next. The story is full of action and it really builds as the story progresses. There are a lot of intense scenes and things get really scary as they all try to stay alive and collect their data from a dying ship. There are a couple of mysteries thrown in the mix that Hannah, Fenn and the crew need to solve in order to stay alive. I really found myself rooting for Hannah and Fenn to find a way off the ship even though it felt like things were hopeless. Kang really had me worried the entire way through this story that things may not turn out the way I would want them to. I had a lot of “oh no!” moments which left me feeling so engaged with the story and its outcome.
Toxic is a gripping action packed space story full of pulse pounding moments that will take you on a non stop thrill ride all the way to a satisfying conclusion. I enjoyed this book immensely. Lydia Kang is an extraordinary writer and will easily pull you right into the story and never let go. This book is so deserving of five stars! I will definitely be seeking out more books by this author.