Calypso

Iva is a teenage Calypsian, an alien living on one of Saturn’s moons. She enjoys her sheltered life and feels safe knowing her home’s atmosphere is designed to protect them from enemies. But when Calypso is suddenly invaded by humans, she finds herself face to face with Justin, a 17 year old boy from Earth. Stuck in the middle of a war zone, Justin and Iva have no choice but to put trust in each other in order to put a stop to what's going on, and save their own worlds.

Calypso is not my first book, but it is my first book that I have felt is good
enough to be published and admired by more than just my friends. 
I am excited for it to be released, and hope that you like it!

A little snip-it pour vous

But there was just that thing tugging inside of me that made me want to puke. That thing that told me Justin was an alien, and his people brought weapons with them to our home. That thing told me that Justin could be making me think he was nice so he could lure me into a trap. But then my stomach flip flopped around, and made me ache for him to step in closer to me. That new thing in my stomach was telling me that he was being nice because he was actually a nice person. But it kept going back and forth. I wanted to trust him, but I felt like I shouldn’t. I wanted to be his friend, but I was still afraid of him. So I made the decision to keep playing it safe until I got to know him better.  Don’t trust him so easily, I thought. Let him prove that he deserves it.

Calypso: Coming of Age Through An Alien Invasion
(Official Press Release)
 

Iva is a typical teenager on the verge of womanhood. She enjoys the sheltered life of Calypso, a small moon of Saturn that resembles a misshapen potato. She feels safe knowing her planet’s atmosphere is designed to protect them from enemies. But when Calypso is suddenly invaded by humans, she finds herself face to face with Justin, a 17-year-old boy from Earth. Stuck in the middle of a war zone, Justin and Iva have no choice but to put trust in each other in order to put a stop to what's going on, and save their own worlds.

 

Justin’s arrival with a team of Earthlings throws both their lives upside down.  Earth is dying from the effects of global warming, and the team that visits Calypso, ostensibly to see if it can be colonized, has a more sinister plan in mind. They begin killing the adult Calypsians, burning their homes, and kidnapping the children. But why? Do they need hostages as bargaining chips to ensure their own safety? Or do they have another motive in mind?

 

Justin is appalled that his own mother would lie to him about the purpose of the Calypso mission and he teams up with Iva to escape the Earthlings. They become fugitives dedicated to freeing the kidnapped kids and defeating the increasingly cruel invaders from Earth.

 

Along the way, they get help from some unlikely sources: Carlie, a  researcher from Earth who is horrified at the invading team’s ruthlessness, and Brett, a gay soldier. Both have left their respective loves on Earth and feel betrayed by their own people. On top of it all, Iva and Justin are beginning to fall in love, which would make both of them traitors. Certainly there are enough collaborators on either side to make it difficult to trust anyone.

 

Natalie Cuddington’s debut work is an exciting, well-plotted, coming-of-age, young adult science fiction novel that manages to combine the mystery genre with a romantic subplot detailing the awkward uncertainties and missteps of young love. Her narrative is crisp and inventive, the  characterizations sharply defined and ringing with truth: Iva’s trial by fire arcs her from being a nervous fraidy-cat girl with a tendency to cry to a strong, confident woman ready to take on the world. Any world.

 

Calypso reads like a novel from a much more mature author. It is certainly one of the best-written recent books in the young adult fiction genre, reminding one of Jeff Vandermeer’s excellent Southern Reach trilogy. Natalie Cuddington is an author  to watch.

 

Author Biography: Natalie Cuddington is a 26-year-old Ottawa- born author who loves poutine, her boyfriend, books, movies, photography and beaches, not necessarily in that order. Calypso is her first published novel.      

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