CARETAKER by Josi Russell

Saturday, February 6, 2016

CARETAKER by Josi Russell
Publisher: Future House Publishing
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2015
Pages: 325
Song I Played While Reading: Greyhound by Swedish House Mafia
Rating: 4 stars

Fifty years in space—alone.

Ethan Bryant was supposed to fall asleep on a ship leaving Earth and wake up fifty years later with his family on the planet Minea. Instead, after the ship’s caretaker—the lone human in charge of monitoring the ship’s vital systems—suddenly died, the ship’s computer locked Ethan out of his stasis chamber and gave him the job. That was five years ago. Five years of checking to make sure everything runs smoothly on a ship Ethan knows almost nothing about.
Who wouldn’t dread the years ahead? Who wouldn’t long for their once-bright future now stolen away? 
Ethan is resigned to his fate, until the ship suddenly wakes up another passenger: a beautiful engineer who, along with Ethan, soon discovers a horrible secret—a navigation room hidden from even the ship’s computer. The ship is not bound for Minea—but to somewhere far more dangerous. 
With the ship nearing its sinister destination, Ethan soon learns he is the only one who holds the key to saving all 4,000 passengers from a highly-advanced, hostile alien race.

I'd like to thank Future Publishing House for giving me this novel in exchange for an honest review!

Sometimes you come across a gem, like CARETAKER, and you feel like running around screaming, "IF YOU LIKE SCI-FI, PLEASE READ THIS!" I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Russell's writing was clean and precise, pulling emotions out of me that I didn't think were there. The beginning was a little slow, and I didn't like Kaia at first. I thought she was a pretty bland character, with nothing special or redeeming. But apparently she crept up on me because, by the end, I was bawling over her. Seriously, ugly crying EVERYWHERE. 
Ethan was a little more personable, but still was lacking something like Kaia. It didn't bother me that much since this is a plot-driven book, and I was so enamored by this world Russell creates. Seriously, it's amazing. It's complex, beautiful, and engrossing. Not only do I think the whole idea of finding a new planet and living on it cool, but there's a whole freakin alien language in here. Yeah, that's right. AN ALIEN LANGUAGE AND SYMBOLS. I was mind blown. Ethan is a linguist, specializing in this dead-alien language, and he teaches Kaia the symbols and what they mean. I got a little lost, but I'm about as language-savvy as a brick wall, so that's not surprising. But I'm sure most people are able to get the gist of it, especially if you really put your brain to it.
Russell also does a fantastic job of dumbing down the engineering and genetics stuff in here, too. I was able to understand everything and I found it all to be endlessly fascinating. 
The plot line kept me on my toes, since I had no idea what to expect. The summary, I'm assuming, is intentionally vague, and it does wonders for the book. I never knew what was going to happen and I loved it. 
Overall, this was compelling and insanely fun, and I recommend any sci-fi lover out there check it out! 


"You're the only reason I would even consider it," she said. "The only reason I would leave this and go to the stars with." 

Picture and summary from goodreads 

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