The 13 starts with portrayal of a late stage colony-ship mission which has gone dystopian. Crew members must maintain public control of their emotions or risk the perils of counseling (a euphemism for lobotomy). The protagonist, Naomi Tesla, is an engineer on the Magellan; which is beginning to show signs of age and mishap. The thirteen refers to the number of ships being sent to the target world as part of a fleet. Naomi becomes part of a mission to obtain spare parts from a sister ship, the Tereshkova, which has gone strangely silent. There she learns not everything she has been taught is true and those in charge on Magellan might have other reasons than the mission itself for the harsh conditions the crew experience every day.
The first part of the book was difficult to read for me, due to the tyranny involved. I like to think society would rebel before accepting such measures, but taking it as written is an important part of the story development. I eventually found myself fully engaged and enjoying the plot as it unfolded. The characters could use a little more depth, but it doesn’t detract much from the overall experience. Author Perry writes well and the editing was competent. I recommend The 13 for science fiction fans who enjoy political themes. I’m sure the subsequent books in the series will be entertaining as well as thought provoking.
(Disclosure: I received a free copy through Veracious Readers Only)