In case you don’t know (and can’t tell from my blog’s branding), I’m a massive fan of space. Space-themed books like The Martian by Andy Weir are my favourites, and I’m starting to gather a small collection of them on my shelf.
So, when I went to YALC last year and got a little packet of goodies for a new book called Satellite by Nick Lake, I couldn’t WAIT to read the book. I was so happy to be accepted to read it on NetGalley! (And of course, in true book blogger fashion, I’ve only just read it. Oops.)
Fifteen-year-old Leo has never set foot on Earth.
Born and raised with twins Orion and Libra on the Moon 2 Space Station, Leo has grown up in the most extraordinary way.
The time has now come for the trio to make their first flight home to Earth, but they cannot imagine the terrible consequences that their return will set into motion.
This is one boy’s epic journey to discover where he truly belongs.
Satellite by Nick Lake:
Note: I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Let me just say before I start… this is the first novel I’ve finished and reviewed ALL YEAR. It’s now March. What the hell?! I’ve read and listened to a couple of non-fiction books, but I’ve had no motivation to read. But this book has catapulted me back into reading and I LOVE IT. Thank you, Satellite! OK, let’s go.
Weird Writing Style
My first impression of the book was that it was… different. The writing style threw me off a little bit, because it’s written without capital letters (except for nouns) and certain words are written in text speak (e.g. c, u).
I put this down to the fact that the narrator hasn’t had any experience of proper education like kids on Earth, and that he’s writing as everything is spoken. I’ve also seen people saying it’s so it reads like a transcript, almost like he’s telling someone the story.
I quickly got used to this though, and when my sister pointed out how weird it looked, I completely forgot it was different! When I get into a story, my mind tends to zone out of any weird writing styles, so I think that helped a lot.
At first, the story reminded me a lot of The Space Between Us, a 2017 film starring Asa Butterfield. That’s also about a boy who grows up in space and comes to Earth, so the similarities were obvious. However, that’s pretty much where the similarities stopped.
Where The Space Between Us mostly focused on the typical Hollywood romance with a girl he liked, Satellite definitely didn’t. In fact, the main character, Leo, showed signs throughout that he’s gay, and I loved that! It wasn’t in-your-face or “oh look this character is GAY!!” – we just learned about his sexuality through his occasional thoughts about his friend, Orion.
I absolutely loved the story from the get-go. It was a little bit slow for some of the beginning, although I enjoyed it all – I never felt bored. But then, about 65% through, it suddenly got INTENSE. I couldn’t stop reading – I read the last 40% in one chunk!
There were so many revelations that had been waiting to happen throughout the whole story, and it was great to finally know the truth. There were bits that made me want to cry (including a death), and then the race towards the end of the book was so tense that I was rooting for everything to go well. (I won’t give any spoilers but it’s one hell of an emotional rollercoaster.)
One of the strongest points of this book for me is the characters. All the main characters seem to have so much depth, even if we don’t know very much about them. We have Libra and Orion, who are twins and Leo’s best (and only) friends in space. There’s Leo’s mother, who seems cold-hearted but we learn a lot about her. (I saw a lot of myself in her, actually.) Then there’s Leo’s lovely grandfather, who Leo goes to live with down on Earth. He runs a ranch that sounds beautiful from the descriptions, and he’s so supportive and loving. All he wants to do throughout the book is help Leo to become the strong astronaut he wants to be, and I loved him.
If you love geeky books about space and enjoy the sci-fi elements of books like The Martian and Artemis by Andy Weir, you’ll love this. And if you love well-developed characters and effortless (but not over-exaggerated) LGBT representation, read this right now.
I can’t wait to buy the physical copy to go on my shelf! (I also think it’d make a great film…)
Click the links below to buy a copy of Satellite by Nick Lake* or read about it on Goodreads:
*Note: Affiliate links used – click here for details. 🙂