DiscoverSpace Opera

Aiya Seven


Worth reading 😎

Engaging, exciting storyline and world, but made me wish the book was much longer.

When JJ, a loner jack-of-all-tradesman in twenty-second century Earth, learns of a “colonial surveyor” job with Aiya Corp specifically requesting applicants with a high tolerance for solitude, he jumps at the chance. Following a brief interview with the Artificial Intelligence Aya Seven, a daughter A.I. to Aiya Corp’s flagship Ayia One, JJ embarks on a journey to survey the star system TRAPPIST-1, accompanied by Aiya Seven herself. But when he wakes from stasis forty years later, he realizes that not only has the mission been jeopardized by extraterrestrial threats, meteors, and extra-dimensional beings, Aiya Seven herself has evolved to navigate these threats. But as they near the TRAPPIST-1 system, JJ begins to realize these problems are trivial compared to what awaits him on the planet’s surface. 

I enjoyed the idea of this story. I loved seeing the different personalities that Aiya Seven developed after having had to adapt and navigate the challenges the mission experienced while JJ was in stasis. Taylor does an amazing job of providing just enough details to allow the imagination to construct the environment, while also avoiding “white room” syndrome. The challenges JJ faces after he wakes from stasis are interesting, complicated, and kept me engaged. 

The main thing I felt this story lacked was length. I realize Taylor was going for the novelette style, however much of the good stuff was told to JJ through exposition or cut short. I found so much to love about this story from the world to the plot, that I wanted to see it written in deeper point of view so I could live through Aiya Seven’s complications on the ship while JJ was in stasis, feel her conflict as she made critical choices against surmounting odds. Additionally, the ending felt rushed, with the climax of the story and key steps to character arc completion truncated to fit the novelette word count. 

Overall, Aiya Seven is absolutely worth reading! This novelette great for someone who is looking for a foray into science fiction without feeling overwhelmed with hard sci fi jargon, but wants all the bells and whistles hard science fiction provides. 

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About the author

Meredith Ryan Taylor lives in a small western town with his wife and son. As a composer, AIYA SEVEN was conceived of as a story for a 'space opera' stage musical (put together from notecards he filled while waiting backstage to perform in a Broadway review) ... Quarantine turned it into a novelette. view profile

Published on January 01, 2021

20000 words

Genre: Space Opera

Reviewed by