This New Adult type story will entertain readers who like traditional sci-fi mixed with romance. Yardley Van Dyke must contend with frozen temperatures on an Earth trapped in a new Ice Age. She promised to see to it that her family continued to eat and that means continuing to operate the greenhouse her mother, now deceased, started. This isn’t a fancy structure. It’s obvious that Yardley must scrap and patch to hold things together and she is unappreciated by those who depend on her, especially her father’s fiancée who wants upward mobility in their dysfunctional society.
Yardley isn’t the only one who tries to save those around her. A childhood friend and companion, Marchand LaFond hunts, fishes and does his best to scrounge food for those who need it, sailing an ice-boat across the frozen lake. It’s hard to believe that these two teens live in what was once California. Of course, the reader roots for the two characters to realize the depth of their feelings for one another. These two heroes certainly deserve to have someone who believes in them. One of the best parts was when Yardley figured out a way to take her dog off planet with her and Marchand proved himself a suitable hero by supporting her in the endeavor. The author does an amazing job of describing the hazards of living on a freezing planet and how it affects not only Yardley and Marchand, but those around them. While some people rise and attempt to do their best to deal with adversity, others take advantage. Yet in an unending winter, it is little wonder that the citizenry want to escape somewhere warmer, i.e. Venus. During the story, the reader learns that Yardley and Marchand have more than one adversary, especially those who are in charge of one of the biggest companies on and off of Earth.
Despite the well-developed characters and the setting, some questions remain. For example, in the beginning Marchand intended to enter a contest to leave Earth. He intended to try to make it to Venus and wanted Yardley’s twin brother to travel with him. Tensions mounted since it was obvious that Yardley should be the one to go – she knew plants, would be able to work with Marchand and longed for adventure while Skeeter seemed more of a home or Earth body. However, it was never fully explained why Skeeter bailed on the trip. In addition, why did Dad’s fiancée accept Skeeter staying with them once Yardley announced her decision? Pinky, the fiancée, made it plain that she wanted Dad to herself. Next, Skeeter had a major crush on one of the girls from the “upper crust” – since she pulled strings to go on the trip to Venus, why didn’t he change his mind and opt back into the journey. Next, the reader learns that BotGen, the evil corporation that owns the US government, has a habit of brainwashing its employees – this isn’t a secret from Yardley or Marchand, so why don’t they suspect that astronauts they rescue from another ship may be infected?
Okay, so this is the first in a trilogy and these questions may be answered in later books. Even with unanswered questions, this was a fascinating read. The scenes on Earth made me shiver and I loved the references to another, earlier time before the Ice Age began. The romance between Yardley and Marchand was sweet, loving and a bit spicy at times so it may be too much for younger readers.