By: Cally Black
Genre: YFB - General fiction (Children's/Teenage)
Published by: Hardie Grant Egmont
Published: 01 Aug 2017
ISBN: 9781760128647


The latest winner of the Ampersand Prize is a genre-smashing hostage drama about 14-year-old Tamara, who's faced with an impossible choice when she falls for her kidnapper’s. Yet this is no ordinary kidnapping. Tamara has been living on a star freighter in deep space, and her kidnappers are terrifying Crowpeople – the only aliens humanity has ever encountered. No-one has ever survived a Crowpeople attack, until now – and Tamara must use everything she has just to stay alive.

But survival always comes at a price, and there’s no handbook for this hostage crisis. As Tamara comes to know the Crowpeople's way of life, and the threats they face from humanity's exploration into deep space, she realises she has an impossible choice to make. Should she stay as the only human among the Crows, knowing she'll never see her family again… or inevitably betray her new community if she wants to escape?


Tamara is a 14-year-old hiding on a freighter in deep space with her aunty and baby cousin. When the ship is attacked by the alien Crowpeople, Tamara is taken prisoner.

Now she must use all her wits just to stay alive, but as she learns more about the Crows’ way of life, she realises the danger that the exploring humans will cause them.

Where do her loyalties really lie - with the Crows who have kept her safe or with her human family, if she can find her baby cousin?

This is the winner of the Ampersand Prize and it is a truly ground breaking new voice in YA. Sci-fi readers will love the detailed world created, and the thought provoking issues raised about understanding our differences and finding common ground no matter what we look like.

It is quite violent and gruesome at times, but the ending will leave you hoping for a sequel.

It is best suited for those Year 9 and up.

Reviewed by Michelle