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The Disasters by M. K. England
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The Disasters (edition 2018)

by M. K. England (Author)

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928194,171 (3.38)3
Member:virginiahomeschooler
Title:The Disasters
Authors:M. K. England (Author)
Info:HarperTeen (2018), 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:March19, 2019CC

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The Disasters by M. K. England

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
The Disasters by M K England is a YA space adventure story, in which a group of teens are the only hope for most of humanity. It was mostly a fun read, but there were some physics issues that I found quite distracting.

In many ways this was a fun book. The characters were entertaining and diverse which was fairly refreshing to read. The narrating character, Nax, ends up being the de facto leader of the little team and being inside his head wasn't terrible. It was a good mix of uncertainty, some silly teenage stuff and world-saving plans.

The worldbuilding of this future was based on some sort of magically fast jump drives (that weren't described in detail), which allowed for the colonisation of several habitable planets spread around the galaxy. A bit confusingly, the law is that once someone leaves Earth they can never come back to the planet. The closest they can get is in orbit if they want to talk to their loved ones over live video chat. This wasn't really explained in depth and, while it seems like the kind of thing that might be subverted in this sort of book, it was not. A little baffling, overall.

The biggest problem I had with this book, however, was the complete disregard for the laws of physics. Starting with the part where the space ships had rudders (overall, they behaved a little too much like planes, even when they were in vacuum). There was just so much that didn't make sense on that front that I couldn't ignore it and I couldn't enjoy the book. Every action scene generated a lot of "WTF" for me. Very disappointing. Perhaps if the book overall had been a little bit tighter and faster-paced, I could have ignored more of the physics gaffes. But as it was, I did not enjoy The Disasters and dragged out my reading of it because I just wasn't keen to get back to it. Alas.

So I would recommend this to fans of YA and action adventures in space, but the physics was appalling and I can't recommend it on that front. Obviously, that's not something that will bother everyone, but since it's a YA book and potentially influencing the understanding of space and physics in young minds, I cannot approve.

3 / 5 stars

You can read more of my reviews on my blog. ( )
  Tsana | Apr 22, 2019 |
Reviewed By: Sarah W. (12th grade)
Grade Range: 6th grade and Up (Some descriptions of death may alter grade range depending on the student.)
Genre: Science Fiction
Literary Merit: Excellent
Characterization: Excellent

Nax was so close to seeing all of his dreams realised when he entered the elite Ellis Station Academy. He was finally going to be a pilot, finally going to escape his own personal hell called Earth to create a new Nax on one of the colony planets. Then he was kicked out. It always happens this way, he’s never been good enough to do anything right, or so he thinks. As Nax is boarding the flight home surrounded by four other rejects, something strange happens. The station alarms start going off and Nax and the others hear gunshots! The station is under attack. Fighting for survival, Nax and his group of mismatched friends must travel to the different colonies in search of some way to warn Earth of the station’s mysterious takeover, all while running into the possibility of death at every turn. In this adventurous sci-fi novel Nax must come face to face with evil, good, family, friends, and the scariest thing in all the worlds - attractive girls and boys.
The Disasters by M.K. England is a thrilling sci-fi comedy surrounding the story of space pilot captain Nax Hall and his four quirky friends. The novel is set in the year 2194, in a world where Earth has developed international space travel, as well as intergalactic space travel. Others still live on Earth, but numerous colonies also exist on other planets, in numerous different solar systems. This futuristic society falls in line with everything that’s happening in the present, while being just on the verge of unrealistic to keep the reader in a science fiction world. The characterization was my favorite part of this book. England somehow managed to create five likable, realistic characters who are all extremely different in personality, background, ethnicity, and intelligence. The characters are extremely diverse with different sexualities, gender orientations, religions, and personal beliefs mixing in a natural way. The sexuality aspect of the characters, specifically the bisexual protagonist Nax, is addressed in an amazing way, not putting too much focus on it, but acknowledging it as if it’s the norm. I also enjoyed the interaction between Nax and his older brother. They are shown to have a somewhat strained relationship over events that Nax has fixated on from his childhood. The audience can tell that there is a lot of resentment between Nax and his older brother, leading to intense jealousy and a hint of betrayal since they were so close when they were younger. Overall I believe M.K. England did an amazing job in creating a dystopian world any and all readers can fall into.

Recommendations: Anyone interested in a diverse sci-fi with thrilling twists and turns. ( )
  SWONroyal | Mar 7, 2019 |
https://iwriteinbooks.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/the-disasters-m-k-england/

I'm not usually one for rip-tearing battles, especially not shoot-um-up space ship stories. They just kind of leave me breathless without much respite in deeper plot.
That said, I went into The Disasters hearing that feedback and so was delighted to find that there was far more substance than was being reported. Don't get me wrong; there's definitely a lot of Hollywood ship-blasting going on. But it was far more Star Trek than Star Wars. That is, the non-fighting components of the book delved deeper into social issues, using the laser gun backdrop as an allegory, rather than silly nonsensical action.
On a personal side note, I just have to gush because my random little hippie church (Unitarian Universalism) was referenced, not by name but by hymn (Blue Boat Home!) and by principle ("the inherent dignity and worth of every individual") and I was, like, beside myself with glee.
There is a lot of racial, ethnic, and religious diversity in the book, which I appreciated just as a normal human, living in a beautifully varied world. But my home base NEVER makes it to the big time! Ahem, anyway, that was stellar and I may or may not (definitely may) have immediately taken a picture and sent it to my family, friends, all of Facebook, and my Instagram story. Whoops!
The book, overall, was just a basic three star bout of fun, rather than something that I wanted to gush about as a whole. I loved the dialogue and quieter, slower moments when they did happen. I think because they were so lovely, the rest of the book, in all of its adventure and action, let me sad that there wasn't more development along those lines.
It's a super fun book but, again, I think it left me wanting more depth. I hope that England's future stories get deeper into the plot but it should be said that I will absolutely give her another shot.
 ( )
  iwriteinbooks | Mar 4, 2019 |
I heard this book marketed as six of crows in space and boy I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. The disasters showcases a rag tag group of incredibly diverse characters from very different backgrounds who find themselves on a journey through space and different planets after accidentally getting caught up in events that lead to them needing to save the universe. And yes, as the book title suggests, they are complete disasters. Each character has a certain aspect about them that lead them to getting kicked out of Ellis Station Academy; some of them are slightly understandable while others are completely arbitrary and incredibly infuriating.

There is a slight love triangle, which is my least favorite trope of any book, that I found incredibly unnecessary but at the same time I also felt as if it was handled differently than most other love triangles and it didn't really affect my thoughts of the story because of that.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience and I loved what I read. I am a sucker for the found family trope, especially when the characters in said family trope have as many issues as the characters in this story do, and it definitely added to my enjoyment of the book. ( )
  acciohaley | Feb 24, 2019 |
To be fair to any readers of this review, I DNF'ed this book about 2/3 of the way through, so it's possible that the whole thing wrapped up spectacularly, but I spoiled the ending for myself and I highly doubt the ending would change my views on the book.

My problems with this book were mainly that it didn't feel fresh or inventive, the problems that the characters faced were all miraculously solved by "coincidences" and the ~~love triangle~~ thing that was going on was annoying and didn't feel very realistic or add to the plot. I wanted this to be a misfits in space fast-paced adventure with some good action and honestly it was none of those things. The space world didn't seem to be the main point, it was a lot of planet hopping. The internal mechanisms of the future were so pedestrian I didn't have to give them a single thought, which disappointed me from a worldview perspective. And nothing felt really rooted in stakes that the characters (or I) cared about enough to put me on the edge of my seat.

The pros to this book are that it does a fair job of assembling a diverse cast of characters and it's definitely a quick read. It reminded me in the vaguest of ways of Carry On, so if you liked that you might like this (although I think that book was better). ( )
  PlaidApple | Feb 16, 2019 |
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