BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Nineteen year-old Ellie Quin spends her days planting tubweeds on an oxygen farm anxious for the day that she can escape rural life and move to the domed city of New Haven. The normal longings of an adolescent girl prove to be anything but normal in this gene-enhanced future. The day arrives and Ellie puts her plans into motion, unaware that she and her small agricultural planet are on a collision course with forces that could unravel the entire course of humanity, with Ellie being the key to their undoing.
PROS: Engaging protagonist; imaginative world-building; strong pacing with a steadily building tension.
CONS: It is not a self-contained story; ends abruptly to continue in second volume.
BOTTOM LINE: The Legend of Ellie Quin delivers a sense-of-wonder exploration of the future reminiscent of Heinlein’s juvenile novels coupled with the accessibility of contemporary storytelling techniques. It reveals an imaginative future in which humanity thrives in a sprawling universe seen through the eyes of a down-to-earth, likeable character.