Do you Dream of Terra Two by Temi Oh

From the selection process, to the intense training, and finally the mission into space, Do You Dream of Terra Two tells the story of six young astronauts and three mentors flying through space to a newly-found inhabitable planet. The infighting and the jealousies, the maturing and the deeply-affecting isolation of space. With climate change threatening, this flight of over two decades in length is a chance to set up the first refuge for a dying Earth.

Though little science is detailed in the pages of this book, the focus is on the effects of the mission on the six chosen ones. There was grueling tests to get in, the six years of schooling, and the worldwide fame. The pressure to perform in the vacuum of space is intense. Days before the launch, one girl commits suicide and a replacement rushes forward to take her place. Once in space, the self-proclaimed alpha male and his stark arrogance pushes the crew in uncomfortable directions. And the girl in charge of documenting their travels breaks down and can’t move from bed for weeks…

Is this a story that has been written before? I asked myself as I read this book… Is it quite simply an updated version of Lord of the Flies in space? Yes and no. I found the pull back from detailed science to be a breath of fresh air. The focus was on the astronauts and their older mentors. Each has a task aboard the ship and needs to be self-sufficient for the time when their teachers will die during the voyage.

The 17-18-year-olds were told with great realism. They poked and prodded each other’s egos as much as I would expect. And the romantic interests were very well drawn.

My criticism is two fold. I found it a bit unrealistic that the older members of the crew did not intervene as much as I thought they probably should or would. I also thought it suffered from being 50-100 pages too long. A few of the conflicts were drawn out and took a bit too long to come to any conclusion.

Do You Dream of Terra Two is a long-term space trip that focuses on the astronauts, the emotions and interpersonal scares of black space. Read it for high intensity conflicts in the YA genre.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Saga Press, and the author for an advanced copy for review.

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