Deadly toxins can be hidden inside the most beautiful flowers. – Goodreads
Author: Colleen Houck
Publisher: Colleen Houck via Trident Media Group
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Format: eARC from Netgalley
Pub date: May 12, 2020
Deadly toxins can be hidden inside the most beautiful flowers.
That’s what Astra Meador’s famous biophysicist mother taught her.
As her mother’s apprentice, Astra has developed skills in botany, chemistry, medicine, and, most importantly, in keeping secrets.
In fact keeping Astra’s secret was the reason her family decided to leave the Earth and join a terraforming mission to colonize a distant planet called Crillain IV. But when Astra wakes early from hypersleep, she discovers that her mother never made it onboard, her father died in transit and his body has been ejected from the ship, and she suspects that she’s not the only one awake.
When the ship finally lands and she’s reunited with her brother, Nash, Astra hopes to settle into a new life, especially when she meets the charming young engineer, Jax, and is recruited by the mission commander to train alongside his handsome son to be a future leader of the small colony.
Then Astra learns that she’s not the only one with a dark secret.
As both young men contend for her affection, Astra searches for answers, trying to determine who to trust. But with theft and murder occurring in the colony along with the sudden disappearance of her beloved brother, Astra can’t listen to the whisperings of her heart, especially when someone or something else on the planet is whispering to her mind even louder.
Colleen Houck wrote another great story!! Terraformer took me on such a great adventure full of twists and turns! I felt this story was really unique and it was told in the best way possible!
Astra, our main character, is different. She is strong and smart and honestly such a great character. However, she has a biological “flaw” that makes her different than the others and she has to hide it from everyone. Her family has made a lot of sacrifices for her and the mission they are on is in hopes to help Astra live a better life. She, and the rest of the crew, are on their way to a new planet to colonize.
Of course right from the start things start to go downhill. Astra wakes up early, crew members start mysteriously dying, and deep dark secrets are being kept. There are SO many twists so early on, I was on my toes non stop!!
One thing I really enjoyed about this book and the characters was how many moral dilemmas there were. I felt so deeply connected to Astra because of this. She had to make so many tough decisions and it was nice because the author wrote it in a way that anyone could relate to. It felt so real and I felt like I was right there with Astra trying to solve the problems!
The story focuses a lot on Astra and how she is a biologist in training. She is so knowledgable and caring. She loves the plants and takes her job so seriously. This becomes important towards the end of the book when something SHOCKING happens regarding Astra and plants! I don’t want to say I didn’t see it coming because there was quite a bit of lead up to it. But WOW, the ending had me kind of shook. I felt happy for Astra and the other characters and also felt it was the perfect ending, however, a part of me was like whaaattt is this really happening 😂
Overall, I loved this story! The characters were relatable and I enjoyed them! There was suspense and mystery. Lots of twists and turns. A few moments of real true heartbreak, but also a lot of love and happiness. This was such a well rounded book.
I would recommend this if you enjoy sci-fi fantasy style books with some YA romance and lots of plant talk 💟
** Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
What do you think? Does this sound interesting to you? Do you like books set in space? Chat with me in the comments 😊