First off, this is actually a short story which took me no time at all to devour. It came to my attention when it appeared on Amazon as a freebie (and in fact as I write is still free) The product description made it clear it's the prequel to a series but didn't hint that it's a sci-fi or a YA series.
I haven't really bought short stories and novellas in the past, maybe because in traditional tree book format I never really noticed them, but I'm trying to be more open and this is the second I've read this month. This story details Viola's trip to the New World, where she and her parents are meant to establish a new colony for themselves and other colonists who will join them later, who have only ever known life aboard spaceships. There are also flashbacks to the run up to their departure.
Being so short there isn't much time for a lot of character development but Viola is clearly a young teen who is more than a little scared at being one of the first to arrive on a planet, and who is fed up of everyone talking about hope. I expect for fans of the series who have already read the books they would be a lot more able to empathise with what she goes through.
I found that the story immediately grabbed me and I wanted to read on to find out what was going on and put the action into context. I am so glad I didn't know it was sci-fi YA material as I might have otherwise ignored it, but having made light work of it I was impressed by the quality of the writing and how it pulled me in. I may not get round to reading them any time soon but I'll certainly be looking for the series now.