Zero Grav­ity

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews Young Adult -

Tom La­marr, Marcin­son Press (NOVEM­BER) Soft­cover $11.99 (240pp), 978-1-946932-02-0

In the not-so-dis­tant fu­ture, the moon is mov­ing away from the earth, and grav­ity is los­ing its grip on the planet. Zero Grav­ity is a sharp, spec­u­la­tive novel that fol­lows a fam­ily’s jour­ney to safety as the laws of na­ture, one by one, cease to ap­ply.

Adam Weaver is “a tar­get that no one could miss.” When re­ports of zero-grav­ity pock­ets start crop­ping up, his class­mates con­grat­u­late him on al­ready be­ing too fat to float away.

Adam’s weight is less of an as­set than his quick think­ing. As zero-grav­ity con­di­tions spread, he and his fam­ily must find a way to keep their feet on the ground. Thanks to a ham-ra­dio con­nec­tion, the Weavers hear about a con­spir­acy the­ory: that NASA has built a zero-grav­ity ark, an of­fice build­ing that is de­signed to float away when zero grav­ity reaches to­tal­ity. “Arkies,” as they’re called, be­lieve that the NASA ves­sel is close to ca­pac­ity. The Weavers in­tend to be on it when it sails.

Their ad­ven­ture is fab­u­lous, a cot­ton-candy Mad Max-in­fused quest. From snack-food­crazed al­li­ga­tors to a weather cult wear­ing tin-foil hel­mets, Zero Grav­ity is packed with in­cred­i­ble, hi­lar­i­ous im­agery, char­ac­ters, and land­scapes. As the apoc­a­lypse creeps slowly on, the rules of so­ci­ety cease to ap­ply. Zoo an­i­mals roam free, along with crazed tel­e­van­ge­lists and even some of the bullies from Adam’s school.

Adam is a strong main char­ac­ter who grounds the plot in re­al­ity. His strug­gle to con­tend with the changes in his fam­ily and in him­self are mir­rored in the topsy-turvy world around him. The zero-grav­ity cri­sis al­ludes to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters that come from cli­mate change, but the novel’s deeper themes are self-dis­cov­ery and find­ing bal­ance.

Zero Grav­ity is author Tom La­marr’s first YA novel, and hope­fully not his last. This hu­mor­ous, vivid novel is fast-paced, smart, and sur­real— per­fect for float­ing the hours away.

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