Toxic by Lydia Kang
Cyclo, the first and largest biological ship of its kind, is dying. A small crew of mercenaries have handed over the rights to their life to document the death of the ship, but the abandoned ship is anything but abandoned―one girl has been left behind.
Hana has known nothing but the isolation of a single room and the secret that has kept her there for seventeen years. When she meets Fennec, the boy assigned to watch her, she realizes that there is a world she has yet to experience but she is doomed to never meet.
When crew members begin mysteriously dying, Hana and Fenn realize that they are racing against the death of the ship to find a way to survive―unless someone kills them even before Hana’s truly had a chance to live.
Toxic by Lydia Kang
On Sale November 6, 2018 by Entangled: Teen
Young Adult Fiction / Science Fiction
Trade Paperback, 368 Pages
Source: ARC from Publisher
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
TOXIC by Lydia Kang is an exciting new standalone, science fiction for young adults readers with a strong dose of romance. This is space thriller filled with plenty of action and danger to keep things moving while a mystery keeps you guessing. It takes place in space on a sentient ship that is slowly dying; its crew has long abandoned it except for one girl who is not supposed to even exist.
Deep Space, A Dying Sentient Ship, and A “Created” Teen Girl Who is Tech Savvy
What caught my attention first with this book is the fact that it features a "created" teen girl named Hana who's abandoned on a biological spaceship that is slowly dying. Then there's a mystery of why the crew left so suddenly, and why mercenaries are sent to document the death of the ship.
Hana comes out of a hibernated sleep to find herself completely alone on Cyclo, and what is worse, she is weak, confused and left with an overwhelming sense that something terrible has happened to the crew.
I enjoyed seeing Hana go from a weak and naive young teen to one of determination and resilience. She knows the ship better than anyone and her life and those she cares about will depend on it.
Murder, Mystery, and Lots of Danger
When Fenn and his crew of hired mercenaries arrive aboard Cyclo and discover Hana, everything changes. As they begin to document the slow death of Cyclo and try to figure out how to help Hana return to her missing crew, secrets are revealed about the ship and a rash of murders begin to happen. They are not alone and someone does want them there.
Romance plays a strong part in TOXIC.
The building attraction is fast between Fenn and Hana but I still found it sweet and could understand it given their circumstances. The intensity of the ship dying mixed with their need to feel alive makes for some great swoony romance.
TOXIC is one of those reads that easily sweeps you away to somewhere else when reading.
In this case, it's in space on a living ship. I really enjoyed the unique way Cyclo interacts with Hana, and all the cool science fiction and tech added to the story. Kang does a brilliant job of making Cyclo a living character. I thought the mystery was well done as well.
In the End
Readers looking for a fast Sci-Fi read filled with action, danger, and romance should check out this YA read. This is especially a great choice if you like a mix of octane and romance. I especially enjoyed all the space tech Kang mixes in.