The Pioneer (The Pioneer #1) by Bridget Tyler
ARC received via trade for a fair review.
Publish Date: March 5, 2019
Sometimes I get in a mood for a certain type of book, and at the moment when I read The Pioneer it was exactly what I was looking for. I had just finished reading Skyward by Brandon Sanderson and was blown away by how much I loved it and was in a space odyssey type of mood. So when I was given the opportunity to read The Pioneer I jumped all over it. This book was so different from other scifi books that I’ve read recently. In most others, they follow the story line of life on some sort of giant space craft, or in a colony already built, but never have I read a book where you follow the story of humans as they actually find a planet that can sustain life and all the complications that come along with starting over on a new planet. And what happens if there is life already on that planet and us humans are the aliens? This was such a different take on the whole space genre than anything I’ve read before and because of that I thought it was great!
The Pioneer reads from the POV of Jo, a girl who has grown up on the spaceship called The Pioneer for most of her life. She has family on Earth but her parents run the program in search of a new planet that can sustain life since Earth has been corrupted beyond repair. When finally the planet Tau Ceti E is discovered, the mission to begin life elsewhere and continue the human species on a new planet takes priority and Jo finds that her life long dream to be the first humans on a new planet will soon be more than a dream. Even with everything that has happened to deter them from making it to Tau, she still hopes that things can right themselves with a bright future for humans to begin anew. As secrets reveal themselves, Jo starts to realize that things aren’t as they seem, and her mother has been keeping things from her that could change everything they know about their new planet.
The setting to this book was actually really well done, I feel like most space odyssey books take place on one space ship and it starts to feel claustrophobic after a while. That’s not at all the case here. Here we get to learn a whole new planet, Tau Ceti E. Where there are plants that eat meat, prism like mountain ranges, flowing rivers, and so much to learn and explore. The imagery of the sun setting and casting a rainbow of light like the northern lights was a big selling point for me. Count me in, I’d love to visit this beautiful sounding planet, and I’m usually against space travel myself! I loved the feeling of getting to experience a new planet along with the characters in the book. The mystery of newness everywhere and the opportunities to explore and discover something that has never been seen before. It was all so exciting to read about even if it was fiction, it still felt very realistic in a sense that maybe this is what finding another world would be like.
I found myself reading through this book pretty quickly wanting to know what secret would be uncovered next, or what would pop up at every turn. There was so much to find out that it was hard not to fall right into the plot and get swept away to another planet along with the crew of The Pioneer. I loved that they had the 3D printers to build pretty much everything that they would need on their new planet, down to every dish and wall and window. I can see that being the future of space adventure, less to have to transport with us if we ever did find a planet that could provide us with a new home to run to. Not only was the plan realistic, but the issues that pop up throughout the book seemed completely plausible. There are bound to be problems no matter how many minute details you try to work out ahead of time, things will inevitable change or something will happen that causes the plan to need a little rethinking.
While some of the characters unfortunately fell a little flat to me, the main character and her closer friends were easy to imagine and I felt a connection with their little crew. I wanted for things to work out for them and to find a way to live peacefully on this strange planet without losing any of the already limited amount of human life that they arrived with. Jo was especially interesting to see go through all the stages of grief and anger and then resolving into forgiveness and remorse as she worked through all of the unfortunate incidents that kept her from being able to fly, knowing that she only worked towards being a pilot her whole life you can imagine the disappointment in not being able to physically bring the first ship to land on their new planet because of something that is completely out of her control. I would have the same amount of resentment and jealousy that she experienced had I been in the same situation. I felt like Jo was an easy main character to relate to, given that I’ve never been in any of the same situations. Her character development is fun to follow as the story progresses, she becomes someone that you want to stand behind and root for.
I’m eager to find out what happens next after the ending pretty much blew my mind. I’ll be waiting to read the next installment when it is published! This was a fun adventure and I highly recommend it to all of those who want something a little different in their Sci-fi adventure. This was unique and at the same time familiar. I think that this book might even be interesting for non sci-fi fans because it doesn’t all take place in a space ship and so much happens once they venture out onto this new planet. You might be as pleasantly surprised as I was!
If you liked this book:
I actually read Skyward right before I picked up The Pioneer and both of these books put me in the best Sci-Fi mood that I’ve been in since reading The Illuminae Files! I couldn’t get enough of the space exploration and aliens and all around awesomeness of both of these books. Skyward instantly has jumped to one of my all time favorite books so I would definitely have to suggest reading it next if you enjoyed The Pioneer. Both of these books have such drastic different takes on space exploration than any other space odyssey books I’ve ever read. Most of the time you read about the “what if” we found another world, and the book is all about just the journey to get to that point. But in both Skyward and The Pioneer we get to read about what happens after humans have left Earth. What would it be like to actually try and save humanity on another planet? Would we be able to continue on with life as we know it? All of these questions and so many more kept me flipping through the pages of these books as fast as I could and I highly recommend them to you if you’re looking for a fun and different adventure.
Are you a fan of space and space exploration? What are the key points in a scifi book that make you want to pick it up and read it immediately? I wasn’t expecting this when I started reading this book, but in the end I was really happy with how the story played out. Have you ever had a book turn out better than you expected it would be? I’d love to know what you all think!