Martha Wells’ Emilie and the Hollow World is so entertaining, so compelling, SO MUCH FUN that it made me do something that I haven’t done since the fourth grade: When my lunch break was over, I just kept on reading by super-stealthily hiding my book under the desk. Which would have been less obvious if I’d been sitting in my office rather than the library’s circulation desk. Happily, judging by all of the smirks I caught, my patrons apparently approve of the appearance of my (usually Inner) Bad Librarian.
As in Gone, the characters have to decide who will lead and who will follow, to work towards an understanding of what caused their predicament while also finding a safe haven and, above all, to survive their environment and each other. Like Gone, the premise will require some suspension of disbelief, and both books are far more plot-driven than character-driven, though the multinational cast of Strangelets makes for a broader variety of perspectives, belief systems and outlooks.