So you would probably ask, why cam? Why did you read another book by the same author that you burned on your last book review? And you would be right to ask me that. I read Tunnel in the Sky a book written by the same author who wrote Stranger in the Strange Land. His name is Robert Heinlein. The story was awesome compared to the other one of his. I was thinking I was in for another catastrophe, but I was wrong.
The book is about a group of youngsters that are stranded out in a remote world that have to fend for themselves for upwards of 3 years. When I say youngsters, I mean like, 16-22 year olds, not "Lord of the Flies"-style. The story starts off by first detailing the world that those kids are living in. It's a crueler world, with problems like polution, over-population, and limited natural resources. The human race hangs on by means of teleportations to other suitable worlds that are inhabitable that they can draw resources from. Haha, basically in this book, we are parasites that go from world to world extracting resources to feed our overcrowded population.
Colonizing a world is a lot of work and requires a lot of policing and infrastructure, so at a young age, kids are educated on how to do so. They are put through a series of tests to determine whether they would be able to have a profession like that. The most intense of these tests is to be marooned in a uncolonized location without knowing the destination beforehand and surviving there for 7-10 days without assistance. People, in some instances, die from this examination. But after that set period of time, the kids return via a gate jump that teleports them back to earth. This book accounts for a group of students who did not get to make the jump back to earth.
I really liked the book for a couple of reasons. it was short, 180-300 pages is my sweet spot. The plot line was intriguing which kept me coming back to read each night. And after a long work day, that energy is hard to summon at night. Finally, I liked the end of the story, don't worry, no spoiler alert here. The ending was just the right amount of twist that had me thinking about the book after I read it.
The only downfall of this book was that is focused a little too much on the politics and drama of the group dynamic. Much like Stranger in a Strange World, this author really loves to talk about government and had a unique opportunity to discuss it as it developed in this tiny community. Not my favorite, but the book moved through it (heck it was only 200 pages) so that was fine.
All in all, I would recommend this book to someone who was looking for a unique book that had an enticing story. Well done!