“it’s dark now, & not just because my visor is misted; when u turn at 17,500 miles an hour the night comes on u like a switch, & now i’m in a total absence of light that feels metaphorical in a much more horrible way.”
Moon 2 is a space station that orbits approximately 250 miles above Earth. It travels 17,500 miles an hour, making one full orbit every ninety minutes. It’s also the only home that fifteen-year-old Leo and two other teens have ever known.
Born and raised on Moon 2, Leo and the twins, Orion and Libra, are finally old enough and strong enough to endure the dangerous trip to Earth. They’ve been “parented” by teams of astronauts since birth and have run countless drills to ready themselves for every conceivable difficulty they might face on the flight.
But has anything really prepared them for life on terra firma? Because while the planet may be home to billions of people, living there is more treacherous than Leo and his friends could ever have imagined, and their very survival will mean defying impossible odds.
Satellite is a real masterpiece. Nick Lake’s use of text speech instead of proper grammar in writing the entire novel is a distinctive literary choice, shows the reader how the main character thinks and feels. Not with proper punctuation but how we naturally talk. In doing so Lake takes a completely unrelatable situation in which Leo is presented as an experiment, and uses his writing to make it feel relatable.
Not only through the text speech style does Lake convery that extreme reliability however. Leo’s quest into breaking out of the box he had been put into, that experiment forced upon him at birth, it makes his character seem real, it makes him seem like everyone else just trying to be himself in his own special circumstances. In making Leo seem like all of the rest of us despite his unusual circumstances, Nick Lake successfully makes the reader feel connected to a completely obscure character.
The other characters also make a great addition to the plot. Each character has their own level of reliability and with that their own level of importance to the story, but one thing is for sure, every character has a purpose, they are not just unnecessary plot devices but real characters with real feelings and a real importance in Leo’s overarching story.
It is true that the unusual writing style and the initial slow pace does make the novel hard to read at first, but the well-woven plot and the amazing characters really makes Satellite a book worth reading.