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Braking Day

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On a generation ship bound for a distant star, one engineer-in-training must discover the secrets at the heart of the voyage in this new sci-fi novel. It's been over a century since three generation ships escaped an Earth dominated by artificial intelligence in pursuit of a life on a distant planet orbiting Tau Ceti. Now, it's nearly Braking Day, when the ships will begin On a generation ship bound for a distant star, one engineer-in-training must discover the secrets at the heart of the voyage in this new sci-fi novel. It's been over a century since three generation ships escaped an Earth dominated by artificial intelligence in pursuit of a life on a distant planet orbiting Tau Ceti. Now, it's nearly Braking Day, when the ships will begin their long-awaited descent to their new home. Born on the lower decks of the Archimedes, Ravi Macleod is an engineer-in-training, set to be the first of his family to become an officer in the stratified hierarchy aboard the ship. While on a routine inspection, Ravi sees the impossible: a young woman floating, helmetless, out in space. And he's the only one who can see her. As his visions of the girl grow more frequent, Ravi is faced with a choice: secure his family's place among the elite members of Archimedes' crew or risk it all by pursuing the mystery of the floating girl. With the help of his cousin, Boz, and her illegally constructed AI, Ravi must investigate the source of these strange visions and uncovers the truth of the Archimedes' departure from Earth before Braking Day arrives and changes everything about life as they know it.


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On a generation ship bound for a distant star, one engineer-in-training must discover the secrets at the heart of the voyage in this new sci-fi novel. It's been over a century since three generation ships escaped an Earth dominated by artificial intelligence in pursuit of a life on a distant planet orbiting Tau Ceti. Now, it's nearly Braking Day, when the ships will begin On a generation ship bound for a distant star, one engineer-in-training must discover the secrets at the heart of the voyage in this new sci-fi novel. It's been over a century since three generation ships escaped an Earth dominated by artificial intelligence in pursuit of a life on a distant planet orbiting Tau Ceti. Now, it's nearly Braking Day, when the ships will begin their long-awaited descent to their new home. Born on the lower decks of the Archimedes, Ravi Macleod is an engineer-in-training, set to be the first of his family to become an officer in the stratified hierarchy aboard the ship. While on a routine inspection, Ravi sees the impossible: a young woman floating, helmetless, out in space. And he's the only one who can see her. As his visions of the girl grow more frequent, Ravi is faced with a choice: secure his family's place among the elite members of Archimedes' crew or risk it all by pursuing the mystery of the floating girl. With the help of his cousin, Boz, and her illegally constructed AI, Ravi must investigate the source of these strange visions and uncovers the truth of the Archimedes' departure from Earth before Braking Day arrives and changes everything about life as they know it.

30 review for Braking Day

  1. 5 out of 5

    Luke Burrage

    If you've not read many generation-ship-based novels, this novel is a great starting point. If you've read a lot of novels based on generation ships, there aren't a whole lot of surprises here, but the novel is fun and well written, so it's still worth the read. Full review on my podcast, SFBRP episode #488: https://www.sfbrp.com/archives/1987 If you've not read many generation-ship-based novels, this novel is a great starting point. If you've read a lot of novels based on generation ships, there aren't a whole lot of surprises here, but the novel is fun and well written, so it's still worth the read. Full review on my podcast, SFBRP episode #488: https://www.sfbrp.com/archives/1987

  2. 4 out of 5

    Oleksandr Zholud

    This is a debut novel about a generation ship, which is near its destination and is about to decelerate, hence the title. I read it as a part of monthly reading for June 2022 at SFF Hot from Printers: New Releases group. There are quite a few stories set in a generation ship, from the seminal Orphans in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein, to more recent like An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon. Newer stories more often than not imagine some kind of heavily stratified society formed during the v This is a debut novel about a generation ship, which is near its destination and is about to decelerate, hence the title. I read it as a part of monthly reading for June 2022 at SFF Hot from Printers: New Releases group. There are quite a few stories set in a generation ship, from the seminal Orphans in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein, to more recent like An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon. Newer stories more often than not imagine some kind of heavily stratified society formed during the voyage (and seeds of it are in the older ones too if one thinks of it), and this one follows the trope: the protagonist is a midshipman Ravi MacLeod, a teenage boy from a family that is frown upon in a ‘polite society’, whose father was ‘mulched’ (turned into compost for ship’s biosphere) for crimes against the ruling order. Ravi chose another way and is training to become an engineer, part of the Crew, which over seven generations (the ship, Archimedes is on its way for 130 years already) turned mostly into inherited nobility. At the start of the novel, Ravi is working alone in an uninhabited part of the ship, when he hears strange tapings from the outside! Assuming a prank from someone, he looks away to only see a blonde girl outside, without a space suit. Quite shocked (she almost instantly disappears) he shares his experiences with his cousin Boz, who, unlike him is more in the ‘family business’ of getting semi-legal goods. She is a genius coder, which counts for a lot in this ship of 30,000 people, linked almost permanently to their version of the Internet called the Hive. As the story progresses, readers find out about the ship, a version of future history that led to its departure, about the ship’s society, economics and politics. Water serving as money, people interfaced with software, a group opposing the very goal of the mission – it is all very interesting and makes for a nice read. And there are dragons… I cannot say that the story is great – it is a nice yarn, with unexpected plot turns, showing that the author has potential, so if usually I’d ranked it 3-star, I added 1 star for the debut.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael Mammay

    I enjoyed this a lot. Loved the world building, especially, and the well-realized society of the generation fleet. Wherever you think the story is going when you hit the third act, you're probably wrong...it really kept me guessing in a good way. I enjoyed this a lot. Loved the world building, especially, and the well-realized society of the generation fleet. Wherever you think the story is going when you hit the third act, you're probably wrong...it really kept me guessing in a good way.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bina

    4.5 stars One of my most anticipated reads this year, and so glad it turned out to be this good! Love mysteries in space and this was a very satisfying one. Enjoyed Ravi and especially his cousin Boz as characters, the wonderful worldbuilding and politics, as well as the kickass finale. I think my only, small, quibble would be with the length and pacing of the book, cutting a chapter here and there would've tightened the story. But overall a wonderful read and I hope the author is already working o 4.5 stars One of my most anticipated reads this year, and so glad it turned out to be this good! Love mysteries in space and this was a very satisfying one. Enjoyed Ravi and especially his cousin Boz as characters, the wonderful worldbuilding and politics, as well as the kickass finale. I think my only, small, quibble would be with the length and pacing of the book, cutting a chapter here and there would've tightened the story. But overall a wonderful read and I hope the author is already working on another book!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aristotle

    A first time author taking me to a distant planet orbiting Tau Ceti This was good. A little surprised where the journey finally took me. I enjoyed Ravi and Boz and look forward to seeing them again. "To live in a place where the only the only thing protecting him from the ravages of the universe was a thin skin of colorless gas felt deeply unnatural." -Ravi "You're going to kill the living for the sins of the dead?" -Ravi A fitting quote in these crazy times we live in. A first time author taking me to a distant planet orbiting Tau Ceti This was good. A little surprised where the journey finally took me. I enjoyed Ravi and Boz and look forward to seeing them again. "To live in a place where the only the only thing protecting him from the ravages of the universe was a thin skin of colorless gas felt deeply unnatural." -Ravi "You're going to kill the living for the sins of the dead?" -Ravi A fitting quote in these crazy times we live in.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nissanmama

    Braking Day, thoughtful debut offering by Adam Oyebanji, begins in the sixth generation of a seven-generation trip through space. The seventh generation are currently infants and toddlers. For genealogical purposes, a generation is typically defined as twenty years. That means that it’s been over 120 years since three massive ships left Earth to colonize a planet orbiting the star Tau Ceti, traveling at roughly ten-percent of the speed of light. By necessity, travel time would be extended to inc Braking Day, thoughtful debut offering by Adam Oyebanji, begins in the sixth generation of a seven-generation trip through space. The seventh generation are currently infants and toddlers. For genealogical purposes, a generation is typically defined as twenty years. That means that it’s been over 120 years since three massive ships left Earth to colonize a planet orbiting the star Tau Ceti, traveling at roughly ten-percent of the speed of light. By necessity, travel time would be extended to include time to accelerate and time to decelerate. The title Braking Day refers to the moment, or “sol” since days aren’t really a thing in deep space, when the ships will start the yearlong deceleration process prior to reaching their destination. The ships will then be broken down into resources to create new cities for their new lives. There is no going back. The ancestors of the current crew had a dream for their mission, to escape the oppression of “LOKI’s,” an anacronym for Loosely Organized Kinetic Intelligence. As mankind became more and more dependent on technology, artificial intelligence gained more and more power. Somewhere between The Matrix and I, Robot, LOKI’s have become mankind’s babysitters, determining which activities have acceptable levels of risk and which do not. They effectively run the world. First crew wanted to make their own choices and for their children to also have that right. Main character Ravi McCleod is an engineer in-training. His life is marked by a depth of thought on Oyebanji’s part which surprised me. It would have been easy to make these self-maintaining ships given the level of technology represented on Earth when they were built, but by leaving the LOKI’s behind, they require maintenance, repairs, experience the wear of decades of travel, even some catastrophes that cannot ever be repaired. Resources and water are limited. No one living even remembers Earth or “First Crew.” Their society has evolved to adapt to space living. Not everyone wants to give that up to live a stationary life on a rock and not everyone is productive. All crew members and passengers have a rating. “Dead weight” gets recycled because they cannot afford to waste resources on people who are disruptive or not contributing. Ravi’s father, the descendant of blue-collar workers, was a petty criminal by Earth’s standards, but was a problem to the wrong people. He was recycled and even though Ravi is an excellent student, he carries that stigma. Despite whatever their intentions were when they left Earth, the first crew brought their prejudice and bad habits with them. Those descended from the revered officers of first crew have advantage, easy access to education, and opportunities. Those descended from blue-collar workers like janitors, warehouse workers, and food service, are barely scraping by. There are days that Ravi has to decide if he can afford to buy water to shower after dirty days crawling around the bowels of the ship. His professors doubt his intelligence and openly call his integrity into question in front of other students. No one even questions this prejudice. Oyebanji crafts a believable world, not just with classism and environment, but has thought about life on these ships down to swear words, inter-ship sports teams, traditions, holidays, and the things people would organize to protest about six generations into the voyage. This believability makes what happens to Ravi so notable—he sees a girl floating outside the ship in the hard vacuum of space with no suit. A complete and total impossibility. We struggle with him while he evaluates his own sanity and enlists the help of his cousin, brilliant and gifted at coding, someone who should be in the upper echelons of the crew, but who keeps getting her rating knocked down for proudly following the family tradition of misdemeanor crimes. The adventure that follows in the last third of the book is excellent. The reader does not see it coming even though the clues are there and that’s just fun. I truly hope that Oyebanji will make this a series. Braking Day is a complete book with a solid ending, but there is so much material to be explored that I would definitely be interested to see which way he takes these characters after their experiences. My Rating: A- Enjoyed A Lot Read this full review and more at That's What I'm Talking About: https://twimom227.com/2022/04/review-...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Clarence

    Outstanding hard-sf mystery/adventure. Full RTC

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emilie Haney

    What a refreshingly original abs imaginative science fiction read! I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into at the onset but was throughly captivated by the world - a spaceship on the verge of “braking” for their new home world. I found Ravi (the main character) to be the perfect blend of innocent and ingenuitive and his journey to be worth following. The scientific details (to a non-scientist like myself) read easily, the plot never left a dull moment, and resolution was satisfying and left What a refreshingly original abs imaginative science fiction read! I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into at the onset but was throughly captivated by the world - a spaceship on the verge of “braking” for their new home world. I found Ravi (the main character) to be the perfect blend of innocent and ingenuitive and his journey to be worth following. The scientific details (to a non-scientist like myself) read easily, the plot never left a dull moment, and resolution was satisfying and left me wanting me (as in another book in this world!) in the best way. I can completely recommend it to lovers of science fiction! My rating: 4.5* —- Thanks to the publisher for this gifted book. All opinions are my own!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jes

    Engineer-in-training Ravi MacLeod has long set his sights on becoming an officer aboard the generation ship Archimedes. It’s been over a century since the Archimedes and it’s two sister ships left an AI dominated earth for a new start on a distant world. The Archimedes is preparing for Braking Day, when the generation ship finally begins to slow down as they approach their destination star. Only Ravi’s started seeing a woman no one else can see, one who can’t possibly exist, and to top it off od Engineer-in-training Ravi MacLeod has long set his sights on becoming an officer aboard the generation ship Archimedes. It’s been over a century since the Archimedes and it’s two sister ships left an AI dominated earth for a new start on a distant world. The Archimedes is preparing for Braking Day, when the generation ship finally begins to slow down as they approach their destination star. Only Ravi’s started seeing a woman no one else can see, one who can’t possibly exist, and to top it off odd things have started happening around the ship. As his visions become more frequent, Ravi must decide between securing his dream position or pursuing the mystery his visions reveal. Adam Oyebanji’s Braking Day is a diverse, inventive story which breaths exciting new life into the genre mainstay of the generation ship. With vibrant world-building, well crafted characters, and a twisty mystery driven plot, Braking Day is a stand out novel from a wonderful new voice in science fiction.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kara Babcock

    Something about the description of this book made me give it a chance even though I’ve been turned off generation ship stories lately. Perhaps it was the fact that the story is confined to a single generation, rather than attempting to span the multiple generations of the ship’s journey. Adam Oyebanji uses the setting to tell an interesting story of political intrigue and cover-ups, mystery, and some intense action. While there are parts that don’t quite cohere into the whole, overall, it’s a pr Something about the description of this book made me give it a chance even though I’ve been turned off generation ship stories lately. Perhaps it was the fact that the story is confined to a single generation, rather than attempting to span the multiple generations of the ship’s journey. Adam Oyebanji uses the setting to tell an interesting story of political intrigue and cover-ups, mystery, and some intense action. While there are parts that don’t quite cohere into the whole, overall, it’s a pretty good yarn. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC. Braking Day takes place just as the Archimedes and its two sister ships near their destination of Tau Ceti. Ravinder (Ravi) Macleod is training to be an engineering officer, but his family name is already a strike against him. While dealing with this prejudice, Ravi also starts to notice that not all is right with the Archimedes. Certain things don’t add up—but why? Is this sabotage by the BonVoyers—a protest group that doesn’t want the fleet to colonize an alien world, extirpating its indigenous life? Or is there something even more sinister afoot, something that has perhaps been hidden from Ravi and the rest of his generation? I can’t go into too many details here without immediately getting into spoiler territory. Suffice it to say, I predicted the twist that happens halfway through the novel, and the final reveal was a little disappointing. Nevertheless, I appreciate how Oyebanji takes the time to construct credible, competing belief systems stemming from the history on Earth—namely, how some people embraced implants (hence becoming cyborgs) while rejecting artificial intelligences, and others did the opposite. Everything that happens, and the cold war situation that drives the largest conflict of this story, makes sense from a narrative perspective, and I appreciate that. I also liked that Oyebanji took the time to discuss the ethics around humanity spreading out among the stars. Do we have the right to displace indigenous life on another world simply so we can colonize it and make our mark? The fact that there are different perspectives on this from characters in the novel allows the reader to grapple with the complexity. While there is a twinge of dystopia here—Ravi is often struggling to afford the water rations to do things like shower, and it’s clear that the closed-loop system of the fleet is nearing its end of life—this novel is ultimately optimistic about the chances of a generation ship succeeding in its journey. I love how Oyebanji portrays the society that has sprung up on these three vessels, along with Ravi’s critiques of it. Despite my disappointment with some parts of the reveal, I don’t want to be too harsh, because Braking Day kept me reading. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I couldn’t put it down. Nevertheless, I really wanted to find out the solutions to the various mysteries that Ravi had started to unravel. On that note, without spoiling, let me praise this book for wrapping up those mysteries by the end. This could easily be the start of a series, but if it is not, it works fine as a standalone novel as well. There are enough dangling plot threads to start a new story—either with the same characters or perhaps their descendants—but the questions raised in this book get answered. This is a delicate balance to achieve, and Oyebanji nails it. Overall, I would characterize this novel as fun, fraught with danger, and fulfilling in its promises to the reader. Originally posted on Kara.Reviews, where you can easily browse all my reviews and subscribe to my newsletter.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie McDaniel

    This is a debut novel, and a very fine one. The author takes the trope of the generation ship and puts a unique spin on it, exploring the culture of a fleet of generation ships a hundred and thirty-two years into their voyage, when they're coming up on the titular Braking Day. This is a major maneuver wherein they will flip their ships and fire up their drive for the final approach to the Destination Star. But the fleet of three ships has explosive secrets that are about to come to the surface, This is a debut novel, and a very fine one. The author takes the trope of the generation ship and puts a unique spin on it, exploring the culture of a fleet of generation ships a hundred and thirty-two years into their voyage, when they're coming up on the titular Braking Day. This is a major maneuver wherein they will flip their ships and fire up their drive for the final approach to the Destination Star. But the fleet of three ships has explosive secrets that are about to come to the surface, and in the process the reasons why they left Earth will be exposed and the future of the fleet will be decided. There's a lot going on here, from the culture of the fleet (water is used as currency instead of money, and the protagonist, engineer Ravi McLeod, spends a lot of his time crawling in the bowels of his ship, the Archimedes, without having sufficient water in his account to clean himself up) and the splintering factions therein, to the inevitable aging of a fleet of hundred-year-old ships and their closed recycling and ecosystems starting to break down. The story proper starts with a riveting first chapter, where Ravi goes one of the engine rooms at the rear of the Archie (the ship is about forty miles long, with habitat wheels rotating around a central spine, protected at the front by a kilometer-wide shield) and starts hearing tapping noises. He looks through a porthole and sees what he thinks must be a hallucination--a young blond woman floating in vacuum without a spacesuit. But the woman is real, and unraveling her mystery sets Ravi and his cousin, master hacker Roberta "Boz" McLeod, against the hierarchy of the fleet and the secrets it protects. The people aboard the ships are the descendants of the First Crew, who left an Earth taken over and ruled by AIs (here called LOKIs, standing for "Loosely Organized Kinetic Intelligence," which admittedly gave my Asgard-loving heart a bit of a chuckle). The inhabitants firmly reject any kind of artificial intelligence, opting to use cybernetic implants to create a networked hivemind. But as Ravi and Boz discover, there is another ship out there--the Newton--hunting the fleet. The Newton was isolated from the rest decades ago, after an outbreak of plague onboard that the other ships refused to help them with, for fear of the contagion spreading. The Newton survivors have never forgotten. Their society is also structured as a polar opposite--the ship is run by a LOKI, and the inhabitants hate the rest of the fleet's "cyborgs." This societal clash is one of the most interesting parts of the book. Ravi and Boz are trying to prevent a war--the Newton is a more heavily armored and advanced ship, and has a fleet of protective "dragons," warships constructed from some of the habitat wheels after the plague and its attendant population crash and crewed by fully autonomous LOKIs. (I admit when those were first mentioned I thought, really? We're getting some sort of space-dwelling mythological creatures here? but the dragons were actually pretty cool.) With Braking Day fast approaching, the fleet is locked into its mission--the aging ships cannot continue crossing deep space for much longer, despite another faction onboard, the Bon Voyagers, who insist that space is now their natural home and eschew any human presence on a planet. All this makes for a fast-paced, fascinating stew. If I had one wish, it would be that the author had explored the ramifications of his societal and hierarchal clashes a bit more deeply. Especially at the climax, the antagonist's motivations, while plausible, are a bit out of left field. But these are minor quibbles. This is a satisfying story and an author to keep an eye on.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Very enjoyable story. I’ll be watching this author in the future.

  13. 5 out of 5

    David Harris

    Braking Day is an intelligent and atmospheric SF thriller set aboard a generation ship as it nears the end of its voyage. I enjoyed the scuffed and worn atmosphere of the Archimedes, 132 years into the mission and 6 generations of crew on from the original pioneers. Constructed as a series of habitat wheels mounted on a central core, the ship has lost one segment - "Hungary" - due an asteroid strike and another - "Ghana" is failing as its bearings give out. There is a palpable air of decay and a Braking Day is an intelligent and atmospheric SF thriller set aboard a generation ship as it nears the end of its voyage. I enjoyed the scuffed and worn atmosphere of the Archimedes, 132 years into the mission and 6 generations of crew on from the original pioneers. Constructed as a series of habitat wheels mounted on a central core, the ship has lost one segment - "Hungary" - due an asteroid strike and another - "Ghana" is failing as its bearings give out. There is a palpable air of decay and a weariness among the crew of the Archimedes, combined with a fatalism (at least from most) that the mission will, indeed shortly end. Elsewhere in the Fleet, another ship has problems with its hydroponics. They won't be arriving a moment too soon at Tau Ceti, the "destination star". And yet. Some on board are still wary of the idea of planetfall. It seems weird and unnatural to contemplate living on the outside of a ball of rock, unshielded from the radiation of the star. And others have moral scruples. The faction known as "BonVoys" want to prolong the journey, saving the new world from pollution and exploitation and staying in their safe, familiar vessel. Ravi MacLeod, a young trainee engineer, shares some doubts with the first group. But relistically, the journey can't go on for ever, and he looks forward to just having more space than his current cramped quarters allow. That's if he ever makes it to the planet - life has been particularly challenging lately. The MacLeods are seen as, basically, thieving scum - Ravi's dad was condemned to the recycler several years before - and he feels at risk of being thrown off his training course at any moment. The division in this story between "officers" and the rest is stark, reinforcing the dystopian atmosphere of the book where anyone over 75 is seen as "Dead Weight" and recycled; where water is scarce, and treated as a unit of value; where despite everyone being "crew" with a single mission, power and prestige seen to inhere in particular families; where those families seem to have their own agendas for the vogage. Other problems haunting Ravi include headaches, hallucinations, and disturbing dreams which seem to be trying to tell him something about the Fleet. This is not only worrying but it makes it hard to perform his - very strenuous - daytime duties. Desperate for help, he turns to the only person he can think of - his cousin Boz. Boz is, however, a quintessential MacLeod, a bad girl with fingers in many dodgy pies and who has herself come within a whisker of being declared Dead Weight. She, too, may well have her own plans for the future... The interaction between model pupil Ravi and near-delinquent - even if she is a brilliant coder - Boz - we a great delight in this book. The light their different attitudes cast on the social structure of Archimedes helps make the story very, very real and those social structures are really the heart and soul of the book. I wasn't completely convinced by the science, especially the pseudo-gravity, but in my view that really doesn't matter so long as it's basically plausible: what counts rather is the credible treatment given both to the evolution of society aboard the ship, its current pathological form, and the impact of that on the fifth and sixth generation crew who never asked to be born into such a strange situation. Above all, perhaps, the focus this story casts on the why of the trip. Why would you commit to that one way journey, knowing your kids, and their kids, and their kids, will live out their lives aboard the ship, with only distant generations having any chance of arrival? Oyebanji makes out a very plausible case in the future of Earth and it's one that will drive a potential conflict for those descendants, albeit one they don't expect. Things have been hidden form the travellers, and Ravi and Boz may be the first since Launch to understand the full truth - and the nature of the danger that threatens everyone's dreams. Of course, Ravi's own dreams and hallucinations do prove to be linked to this central mystery. We're not kept on tenterhooks to the very end about it as he and Boz work out what it is, rather enlightenment comes earlier (though some mysteries remain) moving the second half of the book more into thriller and conflict territory as they have to face up to a responsibility for the Fleet and the 30,000 or so humans within it. That position poses particular dilemmas, especially for Ravi whose self-image and life plans have all been about distancing himself from his raffish family and progressing within Fleet society - what will he do if all that respectability is at risk because of the action he needs to take? Very much about growing up and taking responsibility, but also about learning to question and think for oneself, Braking Day is very effective in matching the external challenge to a protagonist with whom the reader will I think feel a lot of sympathy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Charles Owen

    I did enjoy Braking Day. It was a fun read. Only downside is that I get tired of the dystopian view of SF that humans are intrinsically bad, but if you can get past that, the book is good.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Robbie

    Pretty sarding good I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t what I expected. It certainly could have been better, but as a whole it’s good and wraps up really well. I’m going to say the things I liked about it first because if one is interested in it, I encourage you to read it. If you’re on the fence, however, perhaps the one thing I didn’t like will be a reason to explore something else. So with that said… This book does one of my favorite things a sci fi can do - it treats its reader like they’re readin Pretty sarding good I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t what I expected. It certainly could have been better, but as a whole it’s good and wraps up really well. I’m going to say the things I liked about it first because if one is interested in it, I encourage you to read it. If you’re on the fence, however, perhaps the one thing I didn’t like will be a reason to explore something else. So with that said… This book does one of my favorite things a sci fi can do - it treats its reader like they’re reading something in their own world that has already happened. In other words, it not only has its own language but never actually explains the terms and slang. The author wants you full immersed and maybe even a little confused! It’s such an effective move and I sarding love it almost because it rubs the reader the wrong way. And if you keep reading you’ll find out why doing this is even more on point for the story itself. The other thing it does - that I love for any book to do - is it doesn’t jump around chapter to chapter. A chapter ends and the next one picks up almost immediately where the previous one left off. The entire book sticks with one character, so there wouldn’t be the option to jump to another perspective or time anyway, but my pet peeve recently has been that Netflix trick of ending a chapter on a cliffhanger and then forcing you to read three more unrelated chapters until you get any more info. Again, I sarding love it. And in general, this book is well rounded with great characters, fun space ship stuff, cool computer hacking stuff. At times I wondered if maybe it would make a better show because it can be so visual (and honestly a little hard to picture) but there’s something very neat about not knowing exactly what these people hundreds of years in the future are doing or how they’re doing it. So for what I don’t like - it feels sarding padded. This book did not need to be this long. It doesn’t help with the pacing, the chapters can be dense, and there are even a lot of unnecessary repetitions. The last third is by far the most interesting and I’d argue it could almost have been a short story. I would definitely read any sequels, but this is not some big space opera. It’s a padded closed ship (for the most part) mystery that doesn’t necessarily feel like it’s dragging, but eh…it kinda does. I would say if you’re not into it after a bit, you’ll probably feel that way for awhile. So overall I liked it, but thank Archie it wasn’t any sarding longer.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    I quite enjoyed Breaking Day! We're introduced to Ravi, who is living on a generation ship that has almost reached its destination, after more than a hundred years. Things have been far from easy for the generations of people who have migrated from Earth in the hopes that their descendants will one day reach a new planet. So people are getting pretty excited to finally be about to get off the ship- for the first time in their whole lives. But Ravi starts seeing things that he should not be seeing I quite enjoyed Breaking Day! We're introduced to Ravi, who is living on a generation ship that has almost reached its destination, after more than a hundred years. Things have been far from easy for the generations of people who have migrated from Earth in the hopes that their descendants will one day reach a new planet. So people are getting pretty excited to finally be about to get off the ship- for the first time in their whole lives. But Ravi starts seeing things that he should not be seeing. And as he delves deeper, he starts to figure out that there are way more secrets on this ship than he ever imagined. Obviously, there are some pretty big time constraints to figuring out what is happening, and that helped to keep the action coming. But I also really loved learning about the characters, too. There were a ton of lighthearted moments, and funny banter among the characters which helped the story feel very readable. I will say, there are some parts in the middle that did lag a bit for me. Perhaps a few things could have been pared down, but overall, I really enjoyed the story. There's a ton of great commentary about humanity as a whole, and how no matter where/when we are, we seem to keep making the same mistakes. It's really thought-provoking. I also was really invested in finding out what the secrets the ships were hiding, and finding out more about what drove them from Earth, and to parts unknown. Bottom Line: Enjoyable characters, a great space mystery, and some great commentary far outweigh the bit of a mid-book lull. You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    The cover and title were the things that drew me to this ARC. I immediately wanted to know answers to all the wh-questions. When I then opened the book, I noticed that it said “Revolutions Book 2” on the very first page. So, obviously, I searched the internet to find out which first book in the series I might have missed. Turns out I didn’t miss a book, this is Oyebanji’s debut novel. Well, it reads like a “not the first” novel in a series. I’m not saying it has middle-book-syndrome, it is a goo The cover and title were the things that drew me to this ARC. I immediately wanted to know answers to all the wh-questions. When I then opened the book, I noticed that it said “Revolutions Book 2” on the very first page. So, obviously, I searched the internet to find out which first book in the series I might have missed. Turns out I didn’t miss a book, this is Oyebanji’s debut novel. Well, it reads like a “not the first” novel in a series. I’m not saying it has middle-book-syndrome, it is a good standalone. It would have been an even better standalone with a tiny bit more background information. We find ourselves on board a generation ship on the way to Tau Ceti. The inhabitants of this ship, and the two other accompanying vessels, have been on their journey for 132 years or six generations. They have reached the point on their route, where Braking Day is upon them. The day the ship will turn and the thrusters will start decelerating the vessels for about a year to get them into orbit of Destination World. Our main character is Ravi MacLeod, a midshipman training to be an engineer. Coming from a family with non-academic/non-officer class background it is hard for him to work his way up within the seemingly tight social classes on board. What makes Ravi so special? I am tempted to say he is a chosen one. Sounds YA Fantasy, but in fact he is. He’s the one with the vision of a girl floating outside the hull with no spacesuit on. He’s the one with the voice inside his head and the weird dreams. He’s also the one with a non-law abiding family and hence has had “special” training as a kid and a family to help him out of a tight spot. Especially his cousin Roberta, called Boz, who’s extremely good with technology. And he’s the one who will make sure Braking Day will happen. Full review: https://scepticalreading.com/2022/05/...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This got better as it went along, and ended up being a lot of fun. There were some serious problems with plot and world building: smoking on a space ship?!; In a small community that has supposedly successful indoctrination teaching so that no one has passed down the story of a fourth ship, we get the contradiction of a minority culture that is promoting not landing on the destination planet, which is the whole purpose of the trip—ie you either successfully indoctrinate everyone or you don’t, bu This got better as it went along, and ended up being a lot of fun. There were some serious problems with plot and world building: smoking on a space ship?!; In a small community that has supposedly successful indoctrination teaching so that no one has passed down the story of a fourth ship, we get the contradiction of a minority culture that is promoting not landing on the destination planet, which is the whole purpose of the trip—ie you either successfully indoctrinate everyone or you don’t, but the author has it both ways. On the other hand, there was some great world building: the language and slang, the differences between the three ships we meet first and the culture of the fourth ship. And the last third of the book was delightfully suspenseful. I was confused much of the time what the teenage protagonists thought they would accomplish, since they never seemed to have a real plan, and there were a couple things that seemed obvious to me that they didn’t figure out (a certain betrayal, a certain bomb), but thankfully, it all works out in the end, so just go with it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    This is an excellent debut and it’s also a novel that takes a classic trope of sci-fi, people on a starship reaching an unknown destination, and recreate it adding the right level of creativity to make it fresh and gripping. There’s a lot going on and we know that this a sort of dystopic community since the start. What will happen it’s a fascinating and gripping story, an excellent debut by a writer that has a lot of potential. The storytelling is excellent, the world building fascinating, and the This is an excellent debut and it’s also a novel that takes a classic trope of sci-fi, people on a starship reaching an unknown destination, and recreate it adding the right level of creativity to make it fresh and gripping. There’s a lot going on and we know that this a sort of dystopic community since the start. What will happen it’s a fascinating and gripping story, an excellent debut by a writer that has a lot of potential. The storytelling is excellent, the world building fascinating, and the characters are fleshed out and interesting. There’s a dystopia but there’s also plenty of humour and I appreciated how the creative changes in the language. I strongly recommend it as it’s highly entertaining and riveting. Many thanks to Jo Fletcher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    I do love a fun debut! Space is not a human friendly place to be but the little group of generation ships has almost made it to their destination world when unexplained things start happening. The protagonist is a crew caste member of the fleet that’s managed to get into officer training. The setting is suitably desperate. The ships are breaking down, water is strictly rationed, some crimes are punishable by death and being made into mulch and well… nobody needs to worry about dying of old age o I do love a fun debut! Space is not a human friendly place to be but the little group of generation ships has almost made it to their destination world when unexplained things start happening. The protagonist is a crew caste member of the fleet that’s managed to get into officer training. The setting is suitably desperate. The ships are breaking down, water is strictly rationed, some crimes are punishable by death and being made into mulch and well… nobody needs to worry about dying of old age on the ships…. But the first reports are coming in from the target world. The gravity is good so anything else should be survivable, with domes if need be, there is liquid water so the temperature range should be ok too. But stuck in deep space on ships with a year to go does not keep you at all,safe from other humans being stupid.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bookoholiccafe

    I don’t read SCI-FI quite often but this one was a different one, the subject wasn’t impossible for me thus I enjoyed it a lot. It is about ships that fled the earth that is dominated by AI a century ago and are now ready to begin their descent to their home, people are excited to get down the ship once they have returned. I enjoyed the characters and the sci-fi mystery, the story is well-paced with adequate detail.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy Verkruissen

    Braking Day by Adam Oyebanji is a pretty fast read and doesn't bog down with a ton of scientific jargon that can sometimes drag the storyline in my opinion. The story is about Ravi, an engineer in training, that starts having headaches and visions of a girl in a place he's never been before. His cousin Boz is a hacker who is always inches away from getting "mulched", their term for getting recycled/executed.. Together they start piecing together the mystery of his visions and the conspiracies th Braking Day by Adam Oyebanji is a pretty fast read and doesn't bog down with a ton of scientific jargon that can sometimes drag the storyline in my opinion. The story is about Ravi, an engineer in training, that starts having headaches and visions of a girl in a place he's never been before. His cousin Boz is a hacker who is always inches away from getting "mulched", their term for getting recycled/executed.. Together they start piecing together the mystery of his visions and the conspiracies that are floating around the ship. Overall a good read for science ficiton fans.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Angela Smith

    Took a bit to finish this book, but glad I did. It is very well written and unique. A little wordy in places and slow, but still good. I believe Mr. Oyebanji will do better with his next book having put so much in to this one. I could tell it was a lot of work!

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Božjak

    This is a fantastic read. Best read of 2022 so far. Love the setup, the dilemas, the solutions, everything. Great writing, I hope to see more from Adam soon!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    Well, this was fun! I was thoroughly engaged with the story pretty much the whole time! I kept thinking it reminded me of in some ways of some of the Heinlein juveniles I read Back In The Day. There's Ravi, a plucky young cadet and his genius hacker cousin Boz. They both come from the MacLeod family. The family is notable for being rather disreputable, and maybe generally bad actors. But Ravi has made it into officer training, and MAY have a chance to move out of his relatively lowly status. That Well, this was fun! I was thoroughly engaged with the story pretty much the whole time! I kept thinking it reminded me of in some ways of some of the Heinlein juveniles I read Back In The Day. There's Ravi, a plucky young cadet and his genius hacker cousin Boz. They both come from the MacLeod family. The family is notable for being rather disreputable, and maybe generally bad actors. But Ravi has made it into officer training, and MAY have a chance to move out of his relatively lowly status. That is, if the other officers let him! Story takes place on a generation starship heading to Tau Ceti. They're getting REALLY close, and it's almost time to brake to go into orbit in the system. But there are factions in the fleet that think that MAYBE taking over a new planet might be a sort of ecological crime. And there seems to be something else out there in the space between the ships. There's very little angst or darkness here, on the whole. It's an adventure story, and a pretty good one! I liked it a lot.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Ravi is an engineer-in-training and a descendent of the people who boarded three enormous generation ships to escape a rogue AI that was hell bent on destroying humanity on earth. They are nearing the end of the trip when Ravi must venture down into the ship, but he sees something he absolutely does not expect; a woman is floating in the vacuum of space– and she is helmetless! This starts off as a rather dark book. The people on Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Ravi is an engineer-in-training and a descendent of the people who boarded three enormous generation ships to escape a rogue AI that was hell bent on destroying humanity on earth. They are nearing the end of the trip when Ravi must venture down into the ship, but he sees something he absolutely does not expect; a woman is floating in the vacuum of space– and she is helmetless! This starts off as a rather dark book. The people on the ship are oppressed, they live day to day and have to spend the water they earn to live and add on top of that, the fact that you can be recycled if you make the wrong person mad. The story has a lot of fun little nuance. The ‘space curses’ are not your typical swearing in English that one would expect and the ‘world’ feels very lived in. After five generations aboard the same ship, it very well should be. The idea that certain sections of the ship are different countries is an interesting bit of flavor. Some of them are better off than others and they generally don’t seem to reflect on the countries of today. The ending of this book was not at all what I was expecting. It kept me on my toes and had me questioning everything with each new reveal. If you want to stay engaged with a book, this is the one for you! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed The Expanse series by James A. S. Corey or The Martian by Andy Weir.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Diana May

    Loved this one. Solid debut! The central mystery’s reveal was a bit deus es machina-y and out there, and the final part of the book was less “realistic” than the rest of the plot which is really quite grounded, but overall this was a fun read with a novel take on the generational star ship story.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is such a good book! Would recommend for sci fi fans Summary: it's almost time for a fleet of space ships to finally make the approach to the new homeworld. Ravi is a trainee engineer who, while doing maintenance, sees a woman outside the station, without a suit. He's still got his job to do but he starts pulling apart the mystery of that girl and the whole past of society. I love sci Fi & I've read a bunch of generation ship type books and this is a different take on it then I usually see! This is such a good book! Would recommend for sci fi fans Summary: it's almost time for a fleet of space ships to finally make the approach to the new homeworld. Ravi is a trainee engineer who, while doing maintenance, sees a woman outside the station, without a suit. He's still got his job to do but he starts pulling apart the mystery of that girl and the whole past of society. I love sci Fi & I've read a bunch of generation ship type books and this is a different take on it then I usually see! Usually something has gone Very Wrong and someone has to fix it, but this time things seem Pretty Alright except Ravi can't leave it alone. And that's fun! In the middle of his job he's got to figure out why he's seeing this girl, what's going on with the ships, and help his cousin stay out of trouble. Truly a delight. It digs into classism and roles in society and countercultures and the sins of the past, but it's a delightful adventure the whole way through. Wherever I thought we were going when it was a third of the way through, it turned out very different and so much more fun. Overall, definitely recommended. Thank you to NetGalley and DAW Books for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mal Warwick

    One hundred thirty-two years ago, three generation starships left Earth on a journey to the Tau Ceti system, 11.9 light-years distant. They are now within months of Braking Day, the time when they will reverse direction and fire up the engines to slow their descent to a planet they hope will be friendly to human life. They are the fifth, sixth, and seventh-generation descendants of the First Crew who departed more than a century ago. The 30,000 people on board hope to begin new lives and a new c One hundred thirty-two years ago, three generation starships left Earth on a journey to the Tau Ceti system, 11.9 light-years distant. They are now within months of Braking Day, the time when they will reverse direction and fire up the engines to slow their descent to a planet they hope will be friendly to human life. They are the fifth, sixth, and seventh-generation descendants of the First Crew who departed more than a century ago. The 30,000 people on board hope to begin new lives and a new civilization in orbit around a new sun. ENVIRONMENTALISTS OPPOSE THE LANDING But there are those among them, the BonVoys (“Bon Voyageurs”), extreme environmentalists who are opposed to landing at all because they do not want to harm whatever life may already exist on their Destination World. (“No landing! No pollution! Save! Their! World!”) And that is merely one of the conflicts we witness in the pages of Braking Day, the promising debut novel of Scottish-Nigerian author Adam Oyebanji. A RIGID, CLASS-BASED SYSTEM The novel’s protagonist is Ravinder (Ravi) MacLeod, now a midshipman in training as an engineer on the Archimedes. He is the descendant of a long line of ne’er-do-wells and criminals. His own father was “recycled” (“mulched”) for a lifetime of offenses against the established order. And those in positions of power, the Officer class, look on Ravi with disfavor, despite his obvious brilliance and the talent he shows as a trainee engineer. Over the course of a century a rigid, class-based system has evolved. A handful of families now trade off among one another for the most senior positions in the crew. Unfortunately, Ravi has developed a hopeless crush on Sophie Ibori, daughter of one of the leading families. (Her uncle is Chief Navigator.) And he is constantly razzed about it by his friend, Vlad (Vladimir Ansimov) and his cousin Boz MacLeod. Meanwhile, Ravi and Vlad suffer constant humiliation at the hands of their teacher, Chief Engineer Chen Lai. A TALENTED YOUNG PROTAGONIST WITH PROPHETIC DREAMS Ravi is an unusual young man in many ways. His mother has encouraged him to break away from the pattern of crime established by his father and his father’s ancestors. The boy’s diligent work in his training program is proof that she has made headway. But Boz continues to value the rebellious ways of their family. Again and again, she draws Ravi into helping her evade the law. The close scrapes they experience only exacerbate the splitting headaches and lurid dreams he so frequently suffers through. And those dreams will prove to be pivotal in Ravi’s future. What he learns through his nighttime experiences will lead him and Boz into life-threatening situations . . . and bring the fleet close to annihilation. EARMARKS OF A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL Although Braking Day isn’t marketed as a young adult novel, it reads that way. The principal characters—Ravi MacLeod and his cousin Boz, Vladimir Ansimov, Sophie Ibori—are all teenagers. There is no sexual activity. And the prolific use of profanity is disguised by nonsense words representing future forms. “Sard” and “sarding” for the F-words, for example. And “Archie-damned” for what you would expect. It’s awkward. But the clever plotting, the credible picture of life aboard the Archimedes and its sister ships, and the intriguing character development make up for it. This novel works, and Adam Oyebanji is worth watching for more to come. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Adam Oyebanji‘s publisher writes: “Of Scottish and Nigerian descent, Adam Oyebanji is an escapee from Birmingham University and Harvard Law School. He currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA with a wife, child, and two embarrassingly large dogs. When he’s not out among the stars, Adam works in the field of counter-terrorist financing: helping banks choke off the money supply that builds weapons of mass destruction, narcotics empires, and human trafficking networks.” Braking Day is Oyebanji’s first novel.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    5 stars for a debut novel? Can you believe it? And I don't give out 5 stars easily. This tale takes place on a generation starship heading towards a planet they intend to colonize. On this ship, called the Archimedes or "Archie" as they sometimes say, there are the officers and the crew and the divide is a generational one. Certain families always end up officers while the same is true for crew. Our main character Ravi comes from a crew family but wants to become an officer. You can imagine the t 5 stars for a debut novel? Can you believe it? And I don't give out 5 stars easily. This tale takes place on a generation starship heading towards a planet they intend to colonize. On this ship, called the Archimedes or "Archie" as they sometimes say, there are the officers and the crew and the divide is a generational one. Certain families always end up officers while the same is true for crew. Our main character Ravi comes from a crew family but wants to become an officer. You can imagine the teasing and downright insults he gets from both sides. The book never gives his age but he's referred to as not an adult yet so most likely late teens. Ravi is training to become an engineer and in addition to studies in school he also has to do work. One day while he is working in a deserted part of the ship he goes to an airlock and see a girl floating out in space without a suit on. He is startled and even more amazed when she doesn't show up on his recording (He has one eye that can record what he sees). That's just the start of the strange things that happen to him but he has no proof of. Ravi's family are considered deadbeats. His father was eventually "recycled" (you can guess what that means) because of too many times being caught doing something wrong. Ravi has to live with that legacy and try to ignore it when people assume he's dead weight just like his father. Ravi's cousin Boz is a coding master (read: hacker) and has some black marks on her record. Everyone on the ship gets implants surgically put into their brains when they are young. The implants allow them to access the hive, which is basically the internet in your head. You can also talk to other people through the hive, like make a joke about your teacher to a friend, and no one would know as long as you keep a straight face. Boz's hacking skills are needed in Ravi's quest to figure out what's going on in his head, how he can see and hear a girl who's not really there. Of course Ravi can't go to someone in authority, even a doctor, for fear that they think he's insane and "mulch" him (slang for getting recycled). So he and Boz are on their own. The writing is good. The pacing is excellent. I had trouble putting the book down, I just wanted to keep reading and find out what happens next and what's the reason behind this mystery. It culminates in a long final sequence that you really can't put down (or shouldn't) that is breathtaking, suspenseful, and answers all the questions. I highly, highly recommend this book, and I don't say that lightly. I look forward to more from this author.

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