Book Review: Losers in Space by John Barnes

Losers in Space
Author: John Barnes
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Science Fiction
Released: April 12th 2012
Review Source: Viking Juvenile
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) It is the year 2129 . . . and fame is all that matters

Susan and her friends are celebutantes. Their lives are powered by media awareness, fed by engineered meals, and underscored by cynicism. Everyone has a rating; the more viewers who ID you, the better. So Susan and her almost-boyfriend Derlock cook up a surefire plan: the nine of them will visit a Mars-bound spaceship and stow away. Their survival will be a media sensation, boosting their ratings across the globe. There's only one problem: Derlock is a sociopath. Breakneck narrative, pointed cultural commentary, warm heart, accurate science, a kickass heroine, and a ticking clock . . . who could ask for more?

Writing reviews for novels that do not receive 3 or more trees is a very difficult task for me. As each novel is carefully crafted by an energy that an author has, willing them to get a story down on paper, for all readers to enjoy. However, very quickly, I realized that as I began Losers in Space, by John Barnes that I am officially not a fan of science fiction. I knew I wasn’t in regards to cinematography, but it’s official in regards to literature too.

John Barnes creates a setting that is based around the lives of several teenagers. It’s a futuristic world in 2129, where everyone, who is someone, is a professional celebrity. If your not, than you may go to great lengths, in order to be “somebody.” Here, the reader finds that a group of teenagers decide to do whatever it takes to be recognized, even if it means to become stowaways to Mars, just to be famous and make history. Little do they know that one person in their clique isn’t whom they really think they are, and events change for the worst, very quickly. Before beginning the novel, the author goes into great detail in regards to what hard science fiction is and its relationship to this novel.

In addition, sprinkled throughout the novel, are mini summaries of facts explaining terms, very scientific to be specific, used in various chapters. Some readers may find this information very useful to get a better understanding of the terminology used in the story. Although this information was much needed for understanding, for me, I found it to be a big distraction while reading, and would have rather had these definitions and explanations incorporated into the story line. Unfortunately, I made no major connection with the characters as I feel that their development was not the biggest goal here. In conclusion, if you are a fan of “hard science fiction”, then Losers in Space will be for you. If not, be prepared for something very different.

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