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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Out of Sight (Progenitor, Book 1) by Matthew S. Cox is set in the distant future, where united Earth is heavily polluted, overpopulated and socially dreary. Earth Government Security Force (EGSF) offers governance and safety but not freedom. Sixteen-year-old Sima Nuvari is an Outcast, begging in the streets to survive. When she accidentally gets caught in the fight between the EGSF and the rebel Separatists, she’s recruited into EGSF’s progenitor program in which young Outcasts are sent to another Earth-like planet called Mirage for colonization, get adopted and start a new life. Unfortunately, her arrival on the new planet is far from smooth, and Sima finds herself facing different kinds of threats than the ones she knew back home.
It’s easy to relate to the young protagonists. They are the ones that hold up this story and Cox gives them enough room for character development. Sima is vulnerable, but a survivor with an admirably strong conscience and her grit just gets better and better as the story continues. Austin is reliable and brave, an excellent ‘second-in-command’ to Sima. Juan and Lissa are endearing, particularly the sickly Lissa who needs the utmost care and protection.
I found the story premise imaginative. The world-building of future Earth and the planet Mirage is not hard to imagine, thanks to the familiar aspects tweaked to a certain degree to suit the sci-fi theme. The plot could be tighter, but overall has a good pace. The prose is clean and the narrative is engaging, despite a few repetitions with Sima’s fixation on karma and her estranged mother in the first half of the book. On the whole, Out of Sight is a great read about survival, hope, and family. It’s a solid debut for the series from Cox and I look forward to the sequel.