Earthseed (Seed Trilogy 1) by Pamela Sargent (Tor) [Book Review]

A group of kids are hatched and brought up by a slower than light colony ship as it approaches a new world. Fifteen years old Zoheret and her friends are let out of their safe corridors into the ‘Hallow’, a pastoral habitat on the inside of the huge asteroid that is Ship. They go through conflicts that split the group which makes me think of ‘Lord of the Flies’ even if it is different here. But they also meet unexpected challenges as they learn more about Ship and its history.

There is some decent character development here like when they have the group competition to cross the outdoors from one side to the other without Ship watching over them. The different leaders make very different decisions that affect many of the in what happens later. But on the other hand some of the principal characters are almost cardboard quality. I know this is aimed at YA but a little more character development would have made it great.

I found I liked the overall storyline and the setting even if much about Ships origin is still shrouded in mystery. It is quite emotional at times.

Earthseed is probably very good YA. I know I would have loved it when I was a kid. It feels slightly simplistic to an adult reader.


Title: Earthseed
Series: Seed 1
Author: Pamela Sargent
Genre: YA | Colony ship
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Tor 1983

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Ship hurtles through space. Deep within its core, it carries the seed of humankind. Launched by the people of a dying Earth over a century ago, its mission is to find a habitable world for the children—fifteen-year-old Zoheret and her shipmates—whom it has created from its genetic banks.

To Zoheret and her shipmates, Ship has been mother, father, and loving teacher, preparing them for their biggest challenge: to survive on their own, on an uninhabited planet, without Ship’s protection. Now that day is almost upon them…but are they ready to leave Ship? Ship devises a test. And suddenly, instincts that have been latent for over a hundred years take over. Zoheret watches as friends become strangers—and enemies. Can Zoheret and her companions overcome the biggest obstacle to the survival of the human race—themselves?