In a near-future world on the brink of collapse, a young woman born into servitude must seize her own freedom in this glittering debut with a brilliant twist.
Marissa Levien’s ‘The World Gives Way’ is an extremely well-written and memorable debut novel. It’s sci-fi at its very best because Levien has found the magic touch. She presents you with a heroine, Myrra, a baby you love from the beginning because the world she is born into is one of servitude, hunger, and the hope of a future for the residents of the planet they are flying through space on, unaware, for the most part, that it is not a planet but a spaceship.
When we meet Myrra, we discover that she will not be free of her owners for fifty years. She works for a couple and their infant and she takes great care of the child. They form a bond and when the parents commit suicide, she is left with nowhere to go, and the last words of the mother entrusted her child to Myrra’s care. Myrra is aware that there is something is wrong, earthquakes they experience regularly are becoming more and more numerous. She needs to find a place for herself and the child because as soon as the authorities discover the parents are dead, and the infant gone, they will assume she murdered them to break free from her enslavement.
The two guys who are hot on their trail, Tobias and Simpson, are very eager to get the job done. They are determined to trap Myrra, recover the baby, and Tobias needs this to prove his worth to the bureau he works for and especially Barnes, who is the head of his department. The story builds nicely and you get a wonderful insight into the levels of people living in a world that reminds you of ancient times back on planet earth, but it is very difficult to look at the spaceship with its technological advances that help them move forward, while the people themselves have regressed to the days of old when owning a slave was acceptable.
Myrra is marvelous as a slave who is determined to keep the infant out of the hands of the bureaucrats who will end up selling her eventually. This book is going to blow your mind and you are going to cheer for the heroine and boo the villain. This is definitely a keeper, add it to your favorite bookshelf.
Available in bookstores June 15th