REVIEW: “The Hatch” – Michelle Saftich

*Thank you to Odyssey Books for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

“With technology becoming so complex and overriding ethical boundaries, as well as our ever-expanding push into space, we have to develop our senses to their fullest potential. We have to evolve faster.” These are the words Britta Tate’s mother spoke the night before she left on an EASA-sponsored mission in space. She never came back.

After her mother’s funeral, Britta’s brother also joined EASA. He went missing too.

Having lost both mother and brother, Britta Tate does not want to go with EASA when they come for her at age thirteen, but she doesn’t have much choice. They process her as a psychic intern and begin a gruelling training regimen. Ten years later, she is accomplished at many psychic abilities, but she is frustrated that her astral searches have been unable to track down her brother. Perhaps he just doesn’t want her to find him.

And why does the number 49 keep appearing?

The Hatch is an epic new sci-fi novella from Australian writer Michelle Saftich. I don’t usually read sci-fi, but I thought I’d give this a go and see what I thought.

There is plenty of action, some good plot twists, and an intriguing futuristic world to get your teeth into. Although it seems to be aimed at a younger audience, any fan of sci-fi and space fantasy would enjoy this fast-paced, interstellar adventure.

Without a doubt, Saftich has an excellent ability to create a believable fictional world. Her futuristic version of earth, the human race and its space exploration is intriguing and I loved being able to explore a different planet and all the futuristic technology around.

However, that’s the main reason why I wish the book was a longer. I found that the first half seemed rushed and I wanted there to be more space to further develop this world and its characters. The story begins with a 13-year-old Britta before a 10 year time jump to her as a 23-year-old, yet there seemed to be very little character progression between these two versions. She still felt like an awkward teenager throughout most of the book and I found it difficult to fully invest in her or her relationships.

The second half of the book definitely picked up in quality and felt less rushed in its execution. It was still fast-paced and readable, but I felt more engaged with the plot and how the characters were navigating their various challenges.

What’s more, Saftich does not shy away from tackling big issues, and The Hatch covers climate change, human greed and political corruption, creating a world which is easily believable as a future version of earth and mankind.

I’m definitely intrigued to see where this story goes next and finding out more about this future that Saftich has created. If there is a sequel, it would be great if it was a little bit longer so that more time can be given to developing the characters and their world, as they have so much potential.

Have you read this? Let me know your thoughts!

Tagged with: