- Ken Catran
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
First Published in New Zealand 1992, published in Great Britain in 1995
There’s an enemy within! Yonna needs Robbie to fight it. But Robbie’s from Earth – he doesn’t belong on a spaceship, thousands of years in the future. Or does he? What precious cargo does Deepwater carry in her hidden chambers? Who set her on an unknown course? And what has happened to Earth? Robbie and Yonna must find the enemy set on destroying the spaceship. Then they’ll know the truth about their mission. And the horrifying secret about themselves.
I first read this book about 15 years and loved it so much I’ve never been able to throw the book away despite multiple clear outs of my book shelves. I haven’t read for a long time now but picked up as part of the YA of the 80s and 90 challenge I’m participating in.
Wow. I still love this book! Even after 15 years the book feels exciting and full of adventure. It starts with Robbie sitting in school when a girl with blond and red hair appears with a laser gun and says she needs him on Deepwater. And no-one else can see her. From there we follow Robbie as he struggles to distinguish between realities on a spaceship fighting trites, jel and other colour space monsters. In addition to staying alive, Robbie and Yoona also have to discover what Deepwater’s mission is and why the spaceship only has six teenagers on board. This central mystery is a fantastically adult twist when solved and one of the reasons I love this book so much. It captured my imagination and I’ve never really forgotten it – but rereading the book reminded me of how well written the story is. There’s no padding – only 185 pages of fun, scares and friendship. Highly recommended!