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The Disasters

Narrated by: James Fouhey
Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Breakfast Club meets Guardians of the Galaxy in this YA sci-fi adventure by debut author M. K. England.

Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than 24 hours. But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy.

Nax and three other washouts escape - barely - but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.

On the run, Nax and his fellow failures plan to pull off a dangerous heist to spread the truth. Because they may not be “Academy material”, and they may not even get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.

Full of high-stakes action, subversive humor, and underdogs becoming heroes, this YA sci-fi adventure is perfect for fans of Illuminae, Heart of Iron, or the cult-classic TV show Firefly and is also a riveting thrill ride that anyone - not just space nerds - can enjoy.

©2018 Megan England (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous!

A great adventure for those who love Star Wars and Firefly. It was an excellent mix of comedy, drama and sci-fi. Plus it was very inclusive of all types of people which I loved.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Entertaining sci-fi adventure.

The Disasters is exactly what it promises to be in the blurb: a gang of rejects from a space academy on the moon barely survive an attack by a mysterious enemy force, go on the run for their lives, get framed, and must work to figure out what the attackers are planning while staying one step ahead of their pursuers and trying to clear their names. It's entertaining and has a fairly well-written cast of characters, and there's some good action with appropriate stakes (especially during the story's climactic race against time). The protagonist, Nasir Alexander Hall ("Nax"), is a half-Pakistani bisexual guy, and it's nice to have a Space Hero™ not be a straight white American dude for a change. The main cast also includes a gay man and a trans woman, so points for representation (and bonus points for not making them into stereotypes or making their identities the entirety of their characters).

The reader does a fine job inhabiting Nax, and maintains clarity and energy throughout the book.

I liked it, and would read more books by this author.

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Amazing

I loved this book so much. I love the characters and the narrator was absolutely wonderful!

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  • SWK
  • West Pymble, Australia
  • 03-16-19

Good casual listen

I really enjoyed the audio book as a light action sci-fi . Character depth a little light but still enjoyable


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    2 out of 5 stars
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Very "meh"

I am a high school senior, and I read The Disasters, by M.K. England, (2018) as apart of my Science Fiction class. If you enjoy character conveniences and being annoyed, this is the book for you.    

  To start off, I was very annoyed about the characterization in this book. There were attempts to make this book feel more diverse, as well as pointless romances that ended up distracting from the main story way too much.” wearing a towel around his waist and a waterproof bandage wrapped tightly around his shoulder. And nothing else. My eyes lock on a single drop of water slipping its way down Rion's neck, sliding over his chest and stomach until it disappears into the edge of the towel. My tongue darts out to moisten my lips, wishing for that drop of water to be- oh no I'm staring.(”-pg 2330) There are only one, or two more scenes like this in the entire book, and this left me wanting the author to either to go into more detail on these romances, or just leave them out altogether.   

However, I really enjoyed the realistic dialogue that I felt really brought the characters to life, and make them more relatable. Although, I found the characters to be too predictable and convenient. This is supposed to be a band of misfits, academy rejects, but these rejects just happen to be an all-star pilot,  a professional doctor, a teenager with a college degree in electrical engineering. “There was a lot of overlap, so I ended up double majoring in electrical and mechanical engineering with a focus on ship systems” (-pg 2136)   

I also really enjoyed the detail the author went into when describing the ship that they were piloting. Being a car nut, I also enjoyed how the author chose to use an existing car manufacturer as the base for the ship they pilot, instead of coming up with an imaginary ship manufacturer. This is a nice change from the made-up names of other sci-fi vehicles I have observed in different novels. “Her sleek lines are even more pronounced, the pinstripes flowing along the curves of the ship and accenting her natural lines. She glows in a white-gold metallic paint, like a small sun. Flecks of silver dance where simulated light bounces off the paint”(-pg 3786)   

Overall, I do not think the average reader will enjoy this book. In reading this book, there a lot of times where I found my self being distracted, and not drawn into the plot. This is a good book to listen to on a road trip, or doing other things. This is because if you miss something, it probably wasn't that important anyway.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Light, Fun, Diverse Space Adventure

I'm so torn on how to talk about The Disastersbecause there are some things that I absolutely LOVED about it but then the rest of it was just an average read for me.

So let’s talk about the good stuff first.

As a whole, The Disasters is an entertaining story perfect for sci-fi fans who aren’t looking to get bogged down into the actual science/tech of the world. At its heart, it’s about a group of teens who failed out of the Academy and are now the only ones who can save the colonies of Earth. Think big space adventure style. Lots of fun, plenty of comedic moments, plans that totally go haywire, and a good bit of action thrown into the mix.

The group of former students hadn’t met prior to the start of the book so they not only are on the run for their life but have to learn to trust each other — total strangers — with their lives. I thought that was really well done and they were pretty entertaining. Each had their own little idiosyncrasies that made them stand out from the rest of the group.And the author did a fantastic job with bringing together a diverse group of characters together for this story and letting that diversity shine through and not just become a plot point.

At the same time, there were certain parts of the story that never made sense to me, like why this particular group of characters didn’t make it into the Academy and how they’d suddenly be branded criminals. The entire first chapter or so was kind of all over the place and then the rest of the book followed the teens on the run. And still on the run. Oh look, another enemy, guess we’re running again. While within the scenes I was fairly entertained, looking at the plot overall wasn’t such a great view.

The stakes were never high enough,or at least never felt like it. Everything always worked out and even when they were in trouble, I didn’t get the tension I’d expect (and hope for). There just wasn’t enough. . . depth, for lack of better words, to the story. Which doesn’t make it a bad book, just an average read for me.

As for the audio, I really enjoyed the narrator for this one and I think that listening to the audiobook is the main reason I found this book so much fun. There were times that I switched to the print version and it just wasn’t the same so I recommend checking out the audiobook if you like them!

I’d definitely recommend this to YA sci-fi fans looking for a quick, light read. The Disasters is entertaining and diverse and fun. Not for readers looking for a super sci-fi-y read (honestly at times I felt this book could have been set in modern day with a few tweaks and it wouldn’t have made a huge difference). Certainly a solid book!

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Fantastic queer YA sci-fi

My only complaint is the prevalence of nods to other sci-fi works. Great, fun read, and the narrator does an excellent job of helping build the world with his characterizations.
Representation matters, and it's nice to find it without being beat over the head with it.
I look forward to Disasters #2!

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Fantastic Book

I absolutely loved listening to this book. Scifi like this, Mortal Engines, Read Player 1 etc. is one of my favorite genres. The story is funny, interesting, and action packed. Never a dull moment. I sincerely hope the author writes a sequel and honestly, could see it being a great movie, too.

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Liked the story line but

The story was ok, however I am not crazy about the swear words or the unique romantic triangle. I did like the the story of the underdogs saving the day.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!

This was an adrenaline ride from start to finish, with just enough flirting and banter in the moments when no one was being shot at to have people rooting for Team Case and Team Ryan. I was absolutely shocked to learn this was a debut, as the characters were all fleshed out, the world(s) were well-built, the plot was perfect, and the dialogue was spot-on. Great book! I saw in a tweet by the author that this is a stand-alone (yes, the book is that good that I Twitter-stalked the author) and that bit of news is my sole disappointment. I need more of the Kick and its crew!

James Fouhey did an excellent job narrating. Five stars all around!