Dutch author Corinne Duyvis has succeeded in her novel, On The Edge Of Gone, where so many post-apocalypse authors have failed: she didn’t set the plot in the US. A teen from Amsterdam, Holland, Denise’s whole life changes when they are informed that a comet is heading straight for Earth.
When the day comes, they must find shelter, but instead of ending up in a bunker – where her sister, Iris, hopefully is – Denise ends up with her (rather useless) mother on board a generation ship.
On the whole, the plot and setting of the novel are different from what you might have come across before. The setup is genuinely intriguing, and the supporting cast of characters provide a colourful host of interactions.
Yet there are moments, as with most YA, where the protagonist seems more interested in boys than the fact that the world is ending. She even comments on the idea that she has been informed of more important information to survive. It’s a little tired in format, and could do with being injected with more pizazz. Duyvis attempts to make sure that the novel doesn’t fall into any major clichés, but in trying to do so, does.
While interesting enough, it doesn’t do much to drag you by the lapels through its pages. The author has built her characters around several ideas, but often latches into these details too often, rarely building deeper.
Denise likes to read, which you will be reminded of often throughout. It serves to drive home the point that she is just an ordinary girl thrust into this extraordinary world, but there are other characteristics that could have perhaps been portrayed in order to support this.
Overall, On The Edge Of Gone is a spout of fantastic ideas, albeit not quite executed with perfection.