Kristyna Baczynski’s Retrograde Orbit was a title I’d seen mentioned across social media & on podcasts several times so it was calling out for me to read it…..cue a visit to the Avery Hill website and it was soon in my hands.
It tells the story of Flint as she tries her best to find her way in the world and the surroundings of a mining colony feel a bit too confining for her need to find a place she can truly call home. Doma, the planet her people came from, lies barren while the life of a miner seems set to take hold but there’s something intriguing about that glimmer in the night sky.
Her life weaves through the path set for her by her mum who is trying her best as a single-parent to keep a sense of normalcy in both their lives and with her grandmother living nearby the comfortable surroundings are quick to take hold. She grows up over the course of the book and her rebellious streak brings with it the strained atmosphere you might expect but when everything in her life comes to a head the path back to Doma seems set.
Kristyna lays out a story that spans the ages and as each of those generations grows older, the sadness, the longing and the frustration bubbles to the surface to leave this journey becoming bigger than a single planet can hold. It’s hard not to get sucked in by the events that surround Flint and with each change in her character feeling like a natural progression this book becomes a sort of galactic Wonder Years that we’re fully on-board with.
The back n forth between the characters is enthralling, the silent panels of contemplation are poignant and the entire book builds it’s intricate layers to the sort of conclusion that leaves you satisfied and lost in your thoughts. It’s an off-world book that has a real heart at its core, helping to make the whole story flow and the spanning of time is punctuated by different coloured pages marking the passages of time in a way I don’t think I’ve ever seen before.
It’s a happy, sad & thought-provoking book from beginning to end with each element packing enough of a punch to make this slide straight into the “must recommend” category in the comic long box in my head. Go read this and you’ll see what I mean.
You can pick up this over on the Avery Hill Publishing website and keep up to date with what else they have on the way over on their Facebook & Twitter. You can also catch-up with Kristyna over on her website or on Twitter.