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In the Quick’s Back-of-Book Description
GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK • A young, ambitious female astronaut’s life is upended by a love affair that threatens the rescue of a lost crew in this brilliantly imagined novel “with echoes of Station Eleven, The Martian, and, yes, Jane Eyre” (Observer).
“The female astronaut novel we never knew we needed.”—Entertainment Weekly (Must-read books coming out in March)
June is a brilliant but difficult girl with a gift for mechanical invention who leaves home to begin grueling astronaut training at the National Space Program. Younger by two years than her classmates at Peter Reed, the school on campus named for her uncle, she flourishes in her classes but struggles to make friends and find true intellectual peers. Six years later, she has gained a coveted post as an engineer on a space station—and a hard-won sense of belonging—but is haunted by the mystery of Inquiry, a revolutionary spacecraft powered by her beloved late uncle’s fuel cells. The spacecraft went missing when June was twelve years old, and while the rest of the world seems to have forgotten the crew, June alone has evidence that makes her believe they are still alive.
She seeks out James, her uncle’s former protégé, also brilliant, also difficult, who has been trying to discover why Inquiry’s fuel cells failed. James and June forge an intense intellectual bond that becomes an electric attraction. But the relationship that develops between them as they work to solve the fuel cell’s fatal flaw threatens to destroy everything they’ve worked so hard to create—and any chance of bringing the Inquiry crew home alive.
A propulsive narrative of one woman’s persistence and journey to self-discovery, In the Quick is an exploration of the strengths and limits of human ability in the face of hardship, and the costs of human ingenuity.
So there I was…walking around my local book store on a Friday afternoon. I left work early, I got an iced coffee (ok iced tea latte, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it), and I spent about an hour simply wandering. It was glorious! I didn’t even consult a ‘Want to Buy and Read’ list, I just walked and looked at covers and picked things up that spoke to me.
And what do you know?! I see this cool pink cover with an astronaut on it and a cool title – In The Quick. The description (as you can read above) sounded intriguing and I do love a good space fiction novel! So I added it to my pile.
Well after the strange book I had read before I decided a space novel was just what I needed for an enjoyable quick read! … So you can imagine my disappointment when it just so happened that In the Quick was written strangely, too! What are the odds?!
The premise was interesting. The setting was cool. But there were real quirks. For example, there were no quotation marks around the dialogue! Like.. What the heck!? How is that legal in the book world?! It was often hard to distinguish between thoughts and spoken dialogue – it got super frustrating.
The characters were pretty cool…I liked that the lead was an independent female and that it showed her expressing interest as a younger child and growing into her strengths. I also liked that there were several other female characters. It wasn’t the typical male-dominated space story.
That being said, I think there were some parts that seemed a little far-fetched for her. I get that she’s smart and has a natural affinity for engineering and the like, but c’mon… don’t let her figure it all out on the first go, you know? I also think her motivations fell flat over the course of the story.
Additionally, some of the other characters behaved in ways that I didn’t find believable either. For example, something bad happens to one, and she is SUPER quick to forgive when I think it would take a little more to get over the incident. Regardless of the believeableness (is that a word?) of their actions, some of their personalities felt a little flat and undeveloped. There was potential to dive into more background – and there was certainly room, it’s a short book – so the fact that the author didn’t just seems lazy.
The settings were pretty cool though. It was fun to picture the space stations/rockets that they were on, as well as the ‘pink planet’. Perhaps the book’s most redeeming quality was the world the author created. One where people were exploring and living in space as if it were totally normal.
Aside from the strange writing and no quotation remarks, I did kind of like the fact that it was written in first person present – I think if I was able to read it all in one sitting it would have felt very engrossing. Unfortunately, my life is not accommodating to that right now, so it was a little hard to get into the story each time.
Lastly – and it’s hard to know if it’s because there was only one that I felt worthy of marking, or if maybe I was too engrossed through parts to notice? (That doesn’t happen very often, though.) – the saddest thing about my entire reading experience here was… I only marked ONE quote that I liked =\\
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Favorite Quotes From In the Quick
“My stomach settled but I still felt…what? Untethered. Adrift. More like a speck of dust than a person.”
This is a bummer because I was so excited about this and I really wanted to love it…but I’m giving In The Quick 3 stars. As odd as I thought it was, I appreciated the strong world creation, the dialogue (even though there are no quotation marks), and the potential of the main character.
I also think that if I was able to sit and read it in one day that it would have been easier for me to appreciate. Because then I could have stayed immersed in the emotion and “atmosphere” of it (no pun intended). Honestly, I can see this being made into a movie and it doing better on screen. I would watch it for sure if it happens!
If you like new, interesting takes on science dramas with a strong female character plus several other female astronauts, I would still recommend this to you. it’s pretty short – only 250 pages – so it’s not a very big time commitment if you try it.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this and what you’re thoughts are!
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