Do You Dream of Terra-Two?
By Temi Oh
Review by Bronwyn Eley
I loved this book. I just had to start with that and, by all means, you can stop here and just go buy it because you won’t regret it. However, if you want to know why I loved it…
I am a huge science-fiction fan and have been since I was a little girl. I’ve read and watched a lot of sci-fi over the years and I’d like to think I know what to expect of the genre by now, but debut author Temi Oh really shook up my expectations with Do You Dream of Terra-Two?
This book was beautifully written. Temi Oh has a way of exploring emotions that is so raw and moving that it ripped straight through my chest and into my heart. Her characters felt so real to me. Their pain and fear, their uncertainties and desires, all seeped into me as I read, to the point where it felt like I was the one going off into space and leaving everything I knew behind.
So what is this story about? It’s about the hope a new planet brings. Years after a new planet is discovered, we follow the journey of the ten astronauts who are leaving a dying Earth to find it. The crew is a mix of decorated space veterans and fresh, naive teenagers who have spent their lives training for this mission in the exclusive Dalton Academy.
This isn’t Star Trek. This isn’t Stargate. There are no wormholes. No light-speed. No short cuts. The mission these astronauts embark on is one that will define and consume their entire lives. The journey to Terra-Two is going to take twenty-three years. They will be awake for this entire time, living in close quarters, dreaming of Terra-Two.
I was immediately overcome with a sense of utter loneliness. Perhaps it was because space, while magnificent and powerful, is endless and unknown. These brave (and perhaps foolish) people have chosen to spend the next twenty-three years drifting through space in what could very-well become their floating, metal grave.
Something always goes wrong in space, right?
But again, this is not the story I was expecting. Rather than aliens, wormholes and explosions (although there are a few of those), Temi Oh exposes what it means to be human in a brilliant and brutal way. Her characters are flawed, afraid, arrogant and hopeful – in every way they are real and complex humans.
If you loved The Martian, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet or anything by Ursula K. Le Guin, you must pick this up. Do You Dream of Terra-Two? is wonderfully refreshing and mercilessly confronting. I cannot wait to pick up Temi Oh’s next book and I will do so with extreme eagerness!
~ Bronwyn xo