This is the story of a shipwrecked sailor on a deserted island.
Except, that’s hardly fair. Anikka is not a sailor, but an engineer, and the island is a planet suitable for human life and colonization. Also, the planet isn’t deserted. At least, it’s not supposed to be deserted. There should be colonists there already.
The shipwreck is real, though.
Anikka wakes up after ten years of cryo-sleep, gets told she has five minutes to get into an escape pod, or she’ll die as the ship crashes. Not a good way to start your week, and there’s no coffee.
Also, there are no colonists. They’re missing. Gone.
That’s how the book begins.
Together with her trusty AI, named Bleep-Bloop, or BB for short, Anikka needs to find out what happened to the colonists, why the ship crashed, if there are other survivors, how to get food, and how to avoid all the creatures that want to kill and eat her.
Just like the sailor on the deserted island, Surviving Daybreak a good old-fashioned adventure story. Complete with a blue wolf sidekick.
What I’ll whine about
Anikka goes through a lot to establish a base and a home in the jungle/forest of her new planet, and while it’s a struggle, it all seems to come together quite easily. I realized after finishing the book that it’s written for a YA reader, and perhaps that has something to do with it (I’m a grumpy old fart about YA sometime).
What I’ll gush about
BB. Anikka’s anxious AI companion is a great addition to the story. She adds both fun and perspective to the situation, especially as she tries to tune her humor filters just right.
Representation. Anikka is ace – not attracted to others, male or female – and while it’s not a big part of the story (there’s no one else around to be attracted to), it’s a nice addition.
Finally, there’s Anikka’s prosthetic arm. Keeping it in functioning order is imperative, as there are no replacement parts, and it’s good to see how a thing like that brings a little extra complexity into someone’s life.
A modern-day Robinson Crusoe, in space.