Complicated, The Interstellar Life and Times of Saoirse Kenneally by Colin Alexander
Reviewed by Cardyn Brooks
It’s the 23rd century. Humanity has survived the Forty Years’ War, created anti-Cyborg laws and an Assembly of Worlds. Twenty-year-old Saoirse (“sear-shuh”) Kenneally is the troubled youngest offspring of a wealthy, influential family that runs a tech empire. She’s spiralled downward since her teens, but this time when she hits bottom her family chooses not to save her from the consequences of her irresponsible actions. Tough love leads to a plea deal that lands her in training camp to become Solar Council Off-Planet Personnel, where Saoirse stands out as the oddest member among dozens of misfits and oddballs.
Does she have the will and the stamina to make wiser choices? A five-part SciFi adventure saga takes readers on a journey filled with mortal dangers and ethical crossroads, political intrigue and messy personal relationships. A poor-little-rich-girl protagonist may not appeal to some. This gifted author uses the trope to examine themes of privilege and entitlement in addition to holding oneself accountable by learning from past mistakes and earning redemption.
Interstellar travel, wormholes, a network of outposts, and nerdy science details mixed with ancient legends and more recent war history linked to recurring cycles of human conflict make Complicated a rich blend of imaginative storytelling with present-day sociopolitical resonance. Steady pacing in the set up gets faster in the cinematic action scenes, creating the rise and fall of an elaborate roller coaster ride. An organically inclusive casts of characters, YA elements, and occasional bursts of profanity make it suitable for teens to adults. Plus, it’s fun.
Published by Alton Kremer, January 27, 2021