Title: The Mayflower Project
Author: Katherine Applegate
Genre: Science Fiction
It’s 2011. An asteroid is on a collision course with the earth. And eighty people have been given the opportunity to survive. To leave the planet before the world ends.
Jobs isn’t quite sure of what’s going on. Just that he and his family are a few of the lucky ones chosen to board a revamped space shuttle. A shuttle that will leave Earth just before the final impact. No one knows where they’re going. Or if they’ll make it there at all. Because there isn’t a lot of time for questions. And there are fewer answers. . .
A huge asteroid is coming towards the Earth and there’s no way to stop it. For most people, there’s also no way to escape. Only 80 people can leave the Earth before impact. They will leave in a space shuttle using untested technology and they’ll spend the trip in hibernation. Their only hope is finding a new planet to live on. But what are the chances of that happening?
I’ve seen a couple of movies where an asteroid is about to hit the Earth but in the last moment somebody does something that saves the planet. A few people die, but most of the humanity is okay. In this book, it’s the opposite. Only a few people get a chance to survive and NASA is supposed to decide who will be the lucky 80. Now, I know they don’t have much time, but some of their decisions don’t make sense to me. They first wanted to send the smartest people to space, but realized that they don’t have enough time for that. So they picked people that they needed and also people that knew about the plan (so they wouldn’t tell everyone and screw up the whole thing).
For some reason, they only picked ‘full families’. But if those people end up on some strange planet with a very slight chance of survival, they need to be really smart if they’re gonna survive. So what’s the point of sending kids? And if they’re worried about people screwing up the plan, well, it may be horrible, but it’s the end of the world, so if somebody is threatening the only chance of humanity’s survival, shoot them. If you have to pick 80 people out of billions, don’t pick assholes. Pick those people who have the biggest chance of figuring stuff out on some faraway planet. They could have just sent 80 people that work for NASA. It would probably be easier to keep the secret that way.
The book is told from several POVs. The characters are interesting, but a lot calmer than I would expect people in their situation to be. Yago freaked me the fuck out. He’ll probably be the bad guy in the series. Mo’Steel is a lot of fun and I like his friendship with Jobs (I suppose Jobs somehow convinced NASA to let Mo’Steel come with them). The strangest character is Billy Weir. He also seems to have the worst fate. The ending was terrifying.
Even though there are some things that don’t make sense to me, I still absolutely loved the book. It was horrifying and amazing and I was actually shaking when I finished it. It made me think about what would people do if this actually happened. I will read the rest of the series ASAP.