For better, for worse. In sickness and in health.
It’s a legal vow of care for families in 2050, a world beset by waves of climate-driven plagues.
Power engineer Lucía Ramirez long ago lost her family to one—she’d give anything to take that vow. The Power Islands give humanity a fighting chance, but tending kelp farms and solar lilies is a lonely job. The housing AI found her a family match, saying she should fit right in with the Senegalese retraining expert who’s a force of nature, the ex-Pandemic Corps cook with his own cozy channel, and even the writer who insists everything is stories, all the way down. This family of literal and metaphorical refugees could be the shelter she’s seeking from her own personal storm.
She needs this one to work.
Then an unscheduled power outage and a missing turtle-bot crack open a mystery. Something isn’t right on Power Island One, but every step she takes to solve it, someone else gets there first—and they’re determined to make her unsee what she’s seen. Lucía is an engineer, not a detective, but fixing this problem might cost her the one thing she truly needs: a home.
When You Had Power is the first of four tightly-connected novels in a new hopepunk series. It’s about our future, how society will shift and flex like a solar lily in the storms of our own making, and how breaks in the social fabric have to be expected, tended to, and healed. Because we’re in this together, now more than ever before.
A nice light read that features a diverse cast of characters with an emphasis on chosen family. Research is evident in the writing, which alternates between technical and heartfelt where it could be more cohesive. I do question why Lucia only got a one day suspension instead of straight up getting fired. It seems an unnecessary risk to an illegal operation in which tons of resources had already been invested.45
The world has reached an environmental crisis and power need is greater than power production. Giant power generating islands that harvest power from the ocean are the worlds answer. Power engineer Lucia has lost her family to a plague and is looking for a new one when she discovers something nefarious is going on at the power island where she grew up. We meet a wide array of interesting characters as Lucia tries to figure out what is going on. This is the first of four books and sets the stage nicely for what should be a very enjoyable series.55