Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Rainbow Rowell in Nemo West’s YA sci-fi adventure debut The Curious Conspiracy on Gamma Ceti.
At the remote colony on planet Gamma Ceti, Dex’s classmates treat him like a worthless nobody. But he dreams of being something more, like the hero of his favorite adventure books, Dirk Dasher. Dirk would know how to talk to the exotic new girl from Earth, Tabitha Tempest, instead of just awkwardly avoiding her during homeroom.
After a particularly nasty encounter with Travis, the resident high school jock and bully, Dex finds himself accidentally skipping class alongside his secret crush, Tabitha. One day of cutting turns into weeks, as Dex is desperate to spend more time with the enigmatic and strong-willed Tab. As Dex earns her trust, she reveals the real reason she’s sneaking out of Morning Mass: a suspicion that the entire colony is being literally brainwashed. Though hesitant at first, Dex believes Tabitha and agrees to help her expose this conspiracy.
Things get dangerous when they discover a mysterious cave beneath their school, and the secrets it contains thrust them into the sort of adventure Dex has only ever read about.
Together Dex and Tab must survive bullies, fights, clones, chases, mind-control, and explosions to warn the Colonial Administration of a sinister conspiracy. Or die trying…
“Engrossing, imperfect characters in a riveting intergalactic tale.” -- Kirkus Reviews
“West’s multi-genre novel successfully blends sci-fi, mystery, and teen drama. . . Unquestionable peril, unveiled villains, and a chase sequence constitute the final act, and though the book has a definite and memorable ending, there’s series potential here.” – Kirkus Reviews