Ruby wants to know what the story is about in order to better judge the mood of the covers. Here you go, Ruby:
In the distant future, planets are settled by vat-grown colonists. The expense of sending generations of humans on several-hundred-year journeys is too much, so they instead launch 500 human blastocysts and an automated collection of machines to raise them and prepare the landing site for them.
This process normally takes 30 years if the planet is found viable. If it’s found unviable, the colony is aborted immediately. The odds are roughly 50/50, which is pretty outstanding considering the prize for the sponsoring country: owning a planet, all its resources, and a launching pad for more conquests.
50/50. A coin flip. Except, nobody took into account a third alternative: a coin that lands on its edge and remains there, teetering and precariously balanced. Half Way Home is about just such a planet. A place half way between viable and abort. Our protagonists are awakened at age 15 with only a portion of their training complete. Their colony is on fire — a fire it purposefully started — but now it’s trying to save itself. The abort procedure is being … well, aborted.
Less than sixty kids survive that first night. They are the colony rejects. The lowest on the hierarchy. They would have been the last to be woken up. Unfortunately for them, the abort sequence goes the same direction. Now they need to do more than merely survive, they need to find a way to ensure future generations have a chance. But first they must convince the colony AI that they even have a right to live. And if they can get beyond that, they might find their worst enemy isn’t their new home, or the circumstances that led to their near-death. It may be each other…