Worth reading 😎

A science fiction romance story, involving scientists sent on a questionable mission to save their planet from environmental destruction.

Suffering from work-related anxiety is bad enough, but what if your job involved a mission to rescue your entire world from extinction? Meet Ayathesti--the main character of Mily Ketchum's relationship-driven science fiction novel Extension--a geneticist of the Mujai people who is undergoing this stressful predicament.

Aya has been struggling since her dad passed away: she aggressively focuses on her work, often drinks in the evening to calm her nerves, and doesn't get along very well with people. Even worse, she has a huge crush on her co-worker Tiamet, but she never seems to be able to say the right thing around him. Tiamet is leading the expedition Aya's going on to save the planet, so she'll need to learn how to reconcile her feelings if The Extension Project is going to succeed.

Aya and Tiamet's home planet, Naratu, needs gold dust in the atmosphere to avoid destruction; the world's governing body, The Council, has determined a solution to maintaining the gold supply. The Mujai will collect DNA from a compatible species on a planet called Earth and splice the DNA with their own to create a genetic hybrid. These new creatures will work to supply gold for Naratu.

Even though Aya is the lead geneticist on this mission, she doesn't agree with The Council's decision. It seems like the Mujai are creating slaves to solve their problems, instead of working out a solution on their own. Despite Aya's reservations, she has to go along with this plan in order to ensure her planet's survival. Tiamet and Aya (along with other work companions, including their friends Nineveh and Latif) must set off on a lengthy journey to Earth quickly, as the atmospheric situation on Naratu is rapidly deteriorating. On Earth, the team will encounter unfamiliar environments--and bipedal creatures that could be friend or foe. Will Aya go along with the mission and get along with Tiamet, or will she align with the beings of Earth instead?

Extension is mostly focused on the relationships between the main characters, their arguments and potential romances, as opposed to the machinations of the larger science fictional world in which they occur. Ketchum smartly switches back and forth between Aya and Tiamet's narrative voices, highlighting tensions and misunderstandings along the way as the plot develops. I'd recommend this book for readers looking for a complicated psychological romance taking place on a different planet, with a dangerous space journey as the backdrop and setting for character development.

Reviewed by

Co-Founder of The Haint
Batavia Public Library Tech/Reference Assistant
Literary Agent Assistant at Barbara Braun Associates, Inc.
Personal Assistant to Marilyn Stasio at the NYTBR
Book Review Editor for KGB Bar Lit Mag
Business Manager of Columbia Journal
MFA in Fiction, Columbia U


About the author

Mily Ketchum is an Architectural Drafter by day, Mom by evening, and writer by night. After seven years of work, she's ready to debut With Extension. As someone who enjoys learning, one consistent area of interest is psychology. This helped create dynamic characters and aides in their authenticity. view profile

Published on April 17, 2020

Published by

80000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Romance

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