Malinda Lo, September 2012. Lo’s third novel and first foray into book-length science fiction is set in 2014 America, where teenage Reese and David get into a car accident and wake up 27 days later in a classified military hospital. The doctors won’t let them walk outside and won’t tell them where they are; in fact, when they’ve recovered and fly back to their families, the airplane windows are blacked out so they can’t see what they’re leaving.
Things at home aren’t much closer to normal. The day of the car accident, there were also dozens of plane crashes, apparently caused by birds. Cities have strict curfews and the government is killing all the geese and pigeons. Reese is still trying to figure out what’s going on when she runs into (literally) a beautiful girl named Amber Gray. Although it wasn’t something Reese had ever considered before, she ends up falling hard for Amber, making out with her whenever she gets the chance and forgetting about her former crush David…
…except when she just has to consult him about some strange symptoms she’s had since they left the secret facility. Why does her head pound suddenly for no reason? Why is she dreaming about a yellow room with red lines down the walls? Why do her cuts and scrapes heal eerily fast? Is David experiencing the same thing or is something wrong with her? Is this related to the birds, or could it be….aliens?
I loved Lo’s Ash and loved, loved, loved Huntress, so the bar was set pretty high for Adaptation. While “love” isn’t a word I’d use, I liked it a lot and would recommend it to those more into SF than am I (note this is the only SF title I’ve ever reviewed here). The gay content is, as usual for Lo, handled beautifully. Reese had a crush on David, then she has a crush on Amber, and in the end….well, I won’t say. Her best friend is gay too, and that’s not a major plot point, as it shouldn’t be. Overall, the story is fast-paced with characters you’ll root for, and it kept me engaged the whole way through a cross-country move. I’ll be eager to read the planned sequel. Recommended.