Sunday, April 15, 2018

Book Review: The Unsound Theory by Emilia Zeeland

The Unsound Theory

by Emilia Zeeland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Unsound Theory takes place in the distant future, but its themes and characters feel accessible to us today. Yalena's mysterious origins leave her with an innate thirst for knowledge. So when she's given her invitation to the STAR Academy, she chooses to accept. Soon she's swept in a sea of spacey intrigue and unexpected relationships, while seeking the family that left her behind.

At first, I had a hard time catching up with Yalena's whirlwind induction in STAR Academy. Soon as her friendship with Chris begins and the truth behind her invitation is revealed, I was hooked. I've read several "space academy" stories before, but the world building Zeeland gives us is expertly layered and truly unique. Earth is given a believable past (our future) in which humans' misuse of natural resources causes unimaginable cataclysms. Desperate to preserve the species, humans migrate to colonies in our solar system and eventually, re-stabilize Earth. Advanced technology is presented with cleverly wove scientific theory. While I'm as much a fan of space opera as the next Star Wars fan, I appreciated the technicalities Zeeland gave us. It made Yalena's future world all more believable and immersive.

This novels greatest strength, however, lies with its characters. Classmates who begin as typical YA poster tropes soon unveiled their deeper true colors. Every time I thought I had a character's motivations pegged down (with a couple of obvious exceptions) they surprised me. What I loved most about this novel was how the author showed duality, the face we show the world verses the person we're afraid to reveal. The handsome cocky guy is ugly beneath the surface while the beefy quite type has emotional depth. Yalena soon learns not to judge anyone by their skins or pedigree. Whether Martian, Mooney or Earthling, all her classmates band together in face of a greater threat of the unknown.

Filled with plenty of action, adventure and unexpected twists, The Unsound Theory will make you long to explore the stars.

About the Author

Emilia Zeeland is a Young Adult sci-fi writer and author of The STAR Academy Series. Even though she holds an international business degree and two Masters, Zeeland’s heart is full of love for speculative fiction.

Her own stories include coming-of-age tales, detailed worlds, unimaginable consequences, deep friendships, and romances that sneak up on you. She’s not afraid to push her characters to their limits and give them a depth that firmly plants them in readers’ hearts. In Zeeland’s writing, readers will be transported to another world, where they are not alone, but part of a tightly-knit, perfectly imperfect family.

Behind the Emilia Zeeland pseudonym, Em (as her friends call her) speaks six languages, loves to try on—and, sadly, also buy—dresses, and is a bit of a foodie.

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