When Dr. Elliott Anderson lost his mind and blurted out the security clearance codes to everything the International Alliance knew about the Undying, the world went crazy downloading the information and the "suits" of the International Alliance locked the good doctor up.
Dr. Anderson was the world's foremost expert on the Undying and the hope they offered to the people of Earth, now a planet destroyed. The people of Earth need a new home. The Alpha Centauri mission they sent out had failed and this planet, Gaia, where the Undying had lived, is the closest livable hope for a new world.
When the security clearance codes were made public, the race was on to get to Gaia and scavenge its treasures. Dr. Addison wanted to study the message the Undying had sent to Earth to get a deeper understanding of their culture, of what they had discovered about the universe, about how they survived and why they disappeared. Others simply want to get rich.
Amelia, (Mia), is a smuggler, one of Mink's raiders. She has fought for a chance to be part of the team that is about to descend on the planet Gaia in search of treasure and in search of a place where the people of Earth might call home. Left behind amid the ruins on Earth is her younger sister, Evie, who is caught in a contract that promises her a dire future. If Mia can get enough money from scavenging treasure from this new frontier, she can buy Evie's way out of that contract.
Mia flies to Gaia hidden in the cargo hold and now has only few weeks before Mink's spaceship will arrive to retrieve her. It's up to Mia to find the temple and beat the other scavengers to some of the leavings of the Undying, the race that had inhabited this place.
Setting off on her solo mission, it doesn't take long before Mia finds herself about to be shot by a rival team of scavengers. Minutes later a young guy, Jules, speaking a buffet of foreign languages, shows up, and he and Mia become quick allies, using their sharp wits to escape the danger together.
Now, Jules and Mia are setting out on a journey together in a barren world where they have only what they can carry to help them survive. Jules is confident he can get them to the "real" temple and he promises Mia she will find what she needs there to save Evie.
This is Indiana Jones come to life on another planet exploring the future instead of the past. Mia and Jules work together to solve one puzzle after another with Mia refreshingly being the math whiz who sees the answers to the challenges the Undying has left for them. Onward if you dare is their motto and their challenge to these two pioneers.
A slow romance grows but the tension and visceral excitement of this story come from the brainpower and trust that these two bring to the mysteries. Each character has her/his own powerful motivator for being there and is willing to fight to the death to succeed.
Brilliant, action-packed, and centered on two characters you will respect and care for. A winner with a sequel to come.
336 pages 978-1484758052 Ages 13 and up (some kissing and mention of copping a feel)
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution humanity has been waiting for. The Undying's advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and their message leads to the planet Gaia, a treasure trove waiting to be explored.
For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an ancient alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study... as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don't loot everything first. Despite their opposing reasons for smuggling themselves onto the alien planet's surface, they're both desperate to uncover the riches hidden in the Undying temples. Beset by rival scavenger gangs, Jules and Mia form a fragile alliance... but both are keeping secrets that make trust nearly impossible.
As they race to decode the ancient messages, Jules and Mia must navigate the traps and trials within the Undying temples and stay one step ahead of the scavvers on their heels. They came to Gaia certain that they had far more to fear from their fellow humans than the ancient beings whose mysteries they're trying to unravel. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more Jules and Mia start to feel like their presence in the temple is part of a grand design--one that could spell the end of the human race...