Taking care of a pet is one thing, but when orphaned teenager Karen Fox is kidnapped to service an interstellar zoo, she gets more than she bargained for.
We do this for they bring us happiness.
We do this because they have no defense, nowhere else to go and no one to care for them.
We do this in order so that they may teach us what it means to be different, and for us to embrace that difference.
Karen Fox, sixteen and recovering from a terrible car crash that claimed the lives of her parents, dreams only of becoming physically able once more. Hearing a strange voice that comes from somewhere near her hospital, she investigates and is kidnapped by an automated ship transporting interstellar animals to a safe haven. Knowing nothing about how to take care of them and disliking animals to begin with, Karen learns the value of caring for interstellar life. And when a marauding band of poachers attacks the vessel intending to seize all the animals, Karen is forced to fight for her own life as well as those animals she has come to care about.
Karen is in pain, other physical and emotional. In one short car ride she has lost everything, her parents, her ability to walk without pain, and her looks. At 16 she is now alone all because a drunk decided to drive.
She walks out side and follows a crying sound into the surrounding forest and finds a small animal that she has never seen before. She picks it up and carries it back to what she thinks is some kind of space craft.
Now she is in space taking care of an alien zoo. Karen is 16, and basically kidnapped, in outer space taking care of strange animals. They attack her, they spit on her and she now gets to clean up after them. Karen is afraid of animals but now she must work through her fears. Karen learns a lot about herself as she works with the animals and they grow close to her. When poachers put everyone’s life in danger Karen begins to understand just how much the animals mean to her. It becomes a race to each planet to save the precious animals before the poachers get them.
She is growing stronger and more productive every day until she feels like they are hers to protect and love. Can she protect them long enough to get them to safety? That is the question?
I love Frankel’s style I have read his books and always been taken out of myself and into the world that he paints with his words. A master at making you feel like you are there living in the ship right along with Karen. I started this book and never put it down. Watching her mature from the bitter hurt teenager into a responsible keeper of the animals was like pulling back the layers of her personality. A must read.