Authors: Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, Rivers Solomon, and S.L. Huant
Narrator: Robin Miles
Series: The Vela Season One
Publisher: Serial Box
Released: March 6th, 2019
Warnings: Racism, genocide, graphic violence, resource competition, death of a planet, refugees
The Vela is a bold new series about one dying solar system, and the people struggling (and fighting) to survive. Like many series available on Serial Box (more on that in a moment), it’s written by multiple authors. Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, Rivers Solomon, and S.L. Huant all helped to bring the first season to life, alongside Robin Miles (narrator).
Asala is a Hypatian refugee, yet she’s made a life for herself on her new homeworld. A life that is about to be shaken beyond repair, as she’s sent out to find a vital ship that has gone missing. The Vela is a symbol as much as anything, thanks to the people on board. It’s also one of the last ships sent out to save those in the outer system.
What is happening to the outer system? It’s freezing. Dying. The whole solar system is slowly dying, right alongside the sun. It just happens that those farther away from the sun are feeling the devastating effects that much sooner. But soon, it will be everyone’s problem.
Serial Box is a newer platform, one that allows fans to buy season passes to stories they love. They update in episodes (chapters), usually once a week, with the options to read, listen, or a both. The whole thing makes for a unique experience.
“Desperate Hypatians still ran from their withering planet every seventeen years, unwilling to die by staying in place.”
Warnings: The Vela is, at it’s core, a story about human survival, and how far one is willing to go to get what they think they need. It’s also a story about a dying solar system. As such, there are refugees, discussions about death of planets, politics, limited resources, and everything else that you might imagine. There are examples of racism and genocide, and just generally graphic violence as well. It is not a light read, by any means.
I’m going to be honest with you. I went into The Vela not entirely sure what to expect. I picked it up because I adored many of the authors involved, and that was enough for me. So it really didn’t take much to blow me away here. Yet that is exactly what happened.
What I’m trying to say is this: I adored The Vela. I am so extremely happy that I got into the series now, especially since season two is actively updating (yes, I plan on diving right into that later today!).
There’s so much to The Vela, it’s hard to know where to begin. There are the main characters, Asala and Niko, who are about as different as they can get. And yet I adored them both, and the individual stories they brought with them.
There’s the interplanetary strife, which managed to tug at my heart strings and enrage me at the same time. It was wonderfully done. Then again, considering the authors involved, I’m not terribly surprised by that revelation.
“Oh, you knew exactly what you were saying, Asala thought. And you know what you’re saying now.”
I’m going to be honest with you. This is not a series to read/listen to if you’re looking for a feel-good story. However, it will make you think. It’ll make you feel things, and it will put some talking points into context like never before. The Vela carries with it much impact, yet it wouldn’t be the same without those tones. That is the reason why I fell in love with it, and it’s the reason why I look forward (and dread) the events in season two.