Review #55 // On the Edge of Gone – Corinne Duyvis

With a comet coming to destroy the earth, Denise and her mother and sister need to get to a shelter to survive the impact. Except Iris, her sister, is missing, and her mother is still struggling with drugs, making things so much harder for her. While running late, Denise and her mother stumble upon the opportunity to join a Generation ship, they must prove that their worth it to take along.

Why this book?: The main character is autistic and it’s also #OwnVoices! Also, I’m in a huge sci-fi/dystopia mood.

Shaky and slow

While the first few chapters of On the Edge of Gone were enough to catch my interest, I noticed straight away that there were some obvious flaws. I found the pacing to be jerky, and I wasn’t fully aware of what the story was supposed to be about most of the time. Multiple times the plot changed course, and it almost felt like it was being lengthened out for length’s sake.

The pacing was also horribly slow. With Denise going from one task to another, it was hard to focus on the story and the plot that was supposed to be unfolding. While Denise herself was an enjoyable character, I found other characters to not be developed as well. Max wasn’t developed past the basic ideas of his character, and I felt that he had little purpose until the ending, which came completely out of nowhere.

Honest diversity

I will forever love the depiction of autism in this novel. While I have no experience with autism myself, I do know that the author herself has autism, making this an #OwnVoices book. Not only did Denise have autism, but she was also a biracial, Dutch girl. Her sister, Iris, is transgender, and she also meets Muslim characters. Samira, one of the Muslim character, specifically stood out to me because she wore a hijab.

A lot of love went into this novel, ultimately for the diversity and honesty that Duyvis included. The focus on diversity may have been her downfall though, because there was obvious lack of plotting that made this novel hard to get through.

Final Rating: ★★★☆☆


I greatly enjoyed the diversity that Duyvis included, but the plotting and pacing errors made it hard to read, and it took a long while to get through. Only a few of the characters seemed fully developed, so it made it hard to connect with a few, even when faced with possible deaths.

Would I Recommend?

On the Edge of Gone has such an honest depiction of autism that I can’t not recommend it. However, the novel length and the pacing made it hard, so either be aware of that, or go into it not expecting it to follow the synopsis.

Additional Information:

Published: March 8th, 2016

Publisher: Amulet Books

Page Count: 456

Genre: YA/Science Fiction/Dystopia

Synopsis: via Goodreads

January 29, 2035.

That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter near their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time.

Then a last-minute encounter leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship that’s scheduled to leave Earth behind and colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But each passenger must have a practical skill to contribute. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister?

When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?

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