The Contaminants is set in a post apocalyptic Earth, a setting which seems to be popular with YA crowd these days. It follows 15 year old Sil, her brothers and a close friend, as they navigate living on a space cruiser conceived to be a safe haven for the last of the human race, while the Earth is regenerated.
After taking a few chapters to get the reader caught up with main characters and the current crisis, the book takes off with one interesting revelation after another leading to series of dangerous adventures for the four kids as they learn that things are not as straight forward as they had first thought and there are always more questions than answers. In the end, they find themselves on an Earth very much not like the one they had left behind, as part of the human race that has both changed and not changed more than had been hoped.
I enjoyed the colorful cast of characters. I could feel Captain Monumba’s worry and commiserate with Raj. Sil’s relationships with her older and younger brothers instill a sense of normalcy into this futuristic story that I think most readers will relate to. The people that the kids meet along the way add to the rich fabric of the story nicely. Still, I could not connect with Sil. It seems that she is meant to be a strong driven female character, but she comes off more like a spoiled brat, completely unaware that her actions and moods affect those around her.
Overall this is a story that most middle schoolers will enjoy. The science is fascinating. The imagery is vivid. It is great science fiction with just a flair of the fantastic. It explores themes that will make them think about the world around them and how humans relate to each other in the real world. I am definitely interested in seeing how this series plays out.
Due to some adult themes I would recommend this book to ages 12 (seventh grade) and up
I received a copy of this book for an honest review