STARRED REVIEW
December 2018

The Disasters

By M.K. England

In M.K. England’s The Disasters, the Ellis Station Academy is an elite training program for Earth’s next generation of intergalactic pilots, programmers and politicians. Unfortunately for four students, their studies are over before they even begin.

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In M.K. England’s The Disasters, the Ellis Station Academy is an elite training program for Earth’s next generation of intergalactic pilots, programmers and politicians. Unfortunately for four students, their studies are over before they even begin.

Nasir “Nax” Hall is a Muslim farm boy, wannabe pilot and self-proclaimed screw-up. After a disastrous first day at the academy, he is unceremoniously kicked out along with three other students: Case, a straight-laced genius; Zee, a Kazak footballer with medical training; and Rion, a snarky Brit with a keen sense for diplomacy. But before the teens can be shuttled back to Earth, the academy is attacked and the foursome must make a daring escape.

Forced to crash land on a colonial planet called al-Rihla, they discover that they’re being framed for the devastating terror attack. If the four are caught, they’ll surely be executed. With help from a colonial girl, this ragtag group of academy rejects must hide from the authorities while simultaneously trying to prove their innocence. If Nax and his new friends can’t clear their names, then they’re going to die trying.

England has created a fast-paced sci-fi adventure story with a diverse cast of likable but flawed teenage heroes. Told through Nax’s point of view, the action is heart-pounding and immediate as these wayward heroes run from one disaster to the next—but there’s also a dash of romance as Nax takes time to consider his attractions to both Case and Rion.

Although the most ardent science-fiction fans might balk at the novel’s world building, which resembles Earth a little too closely, readers seeking humor, heart and good storytelling will find it within the pages of The Disasters.

 

This article was originally published in the December 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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The Disasters

The Disasters

By M.K. England
HarperTeen
ISBN 9780062657671

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