Review by Booklist Review
After the fall of Earth, humans colonize other planets, some of which are at war while host to increasing numbers of refugees, with the destitute living in urban squalor while the rich flee to their mansions. Flying between worlds on relativistic space ships are Trader families, who experience months as years pass for the planet-bound. Hisako Sasaki, an unauthorized child on the planet Gaul, is contracted to marry the Trader Adem Sadiq before she's even born. Hisako grows up knowing her future is out of her control, while the Sadiq's discover an ancient lost ship with technology that could change everything. There are elements of a thriller story here, but this isn't about plot. Instead, it's a social and family drama with a focus on character study and world building. The novel is conceived around a set of questions: How would the time dilation of relativistic travel affect civilization? How would space travelers relate to the planet-bound? How would it alter our perceptions of history and our responsibilities to one another? Greene builds his immersive and socially complex world on these deeply human questions. The Light Years is a story of resistance and acceptance, anger and forgiveness, and the costs of our actions.--John Keogh Copyright 2020 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
The toll difficult moral choices take on families is the core conflict of this clever far-future debut from Greene. In the 33rd century, wealthy Traders travel space while the poor struggle to survive planetside. Trader Adem Sadiq enters an arranged marriage with faster than light worm-drive technology expert Hisako Saski at the urging of his mother, Maneera. Hisako's parents agree to the marriage contract that gives Hisako money in exchange for studying supposedly obsolete worm-drive technology and a two-year stay on her future husband's starship. Life aboard the luxurious starship is intercut with flashbacks to Hisako's early life, as she grows bitter at the realization that her newfound privilege as a Trader comes at the cost of her freedom. Meanwhile, the Saskis struggle with their choice to give up their daughter, and Maneera cooks up larger plans for Hisako than just to be a match for her son; she needs Hisako's knowledge in order to integrate a worm-drive into the starship to make it the fastest in the galaxy. Sophisticated worldbuilding and diverse, emotionally-resonant characters make Greene an author to watch. Agent: Sara Megibow, KT Literary (Feb.)
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