The Disasters

The Disasters

by M. K. England


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The Breakfast Club meets Guardians of the Galaxy in this YA sci-fi adventure by debut author M. K. England.

Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours. But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy.

Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.

On the run, Nax and his fellow failures plan to pull off a dangerous heist to spread the truth. Because they may not be “Academy material,” and they may not even get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.

Full of high-stakes action, subversive humor, and underdogs becoming heroes, this YA sci-fi adventure is perfect for fans of Illuminae, Heart of Iron, or the cult classic TV show Firefly and is also a page-turning thrill ride that anyone—not just space nerds—can enjoy.

Editorial Reviews

Mackenzi Lee

A clever, cosmic thrill ride packed with nonstop action and starring a motley crew that won me over from page one. Just too much fun!

Kerri Maniscalco

Wildly entertaining and crackling with chemistry. Nax and his crew will crash land in your heart and leave you filled with laughter and hope.

Katherine Locke

A BLAST from start to finish! Absurd levels of fun, fantastic pacing, and lovable authentic characters bring this rollicking adventure to life. Looking for a book you can’t put down? Pick up The Disasters. Mission accomplished.

ALA Booklist

Much to recommend: nonstop cinematic action, strong feminist messages, and great diversity of characters.

Ashley Poston

An explosion of edge-of-your-seat twists and high-stakes danger that leaves you glued to the page and rooting for these lovable misfits. I wanted a snarky romp across the galaxy, and M.K. England delivered with the force of a supernova.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

If humankind requires saving, then this is the crew to do it.

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

If humankind requires saving, then this is the crew to do it.

School Library Journal


Gr 9 Up—This laugh-out-loud sci-fi, action-adventure will leave readers wanting more. Teens meet Nax as he's walking through Ellis Station, ready to leave after being washed out in under 24 hours. He meets up with a few other candidates who were also denied, and they board the shuttle that will take them back to Earth. As they all contemplate the end of their dreams, extremists enter the space station and start shooting. It's up to them to escape, come up with a plan to defeat the shooters, and try to stay alive with the skills that got them kicked out of the Academy. England's debut teen novel pulls readers into a sci-fi world well established in just a few pages. The author also captures the disenfranchised teen voice exceptionally well. The pages, filled equally with action and dialogue, will keep readers engaged for the entire book—and hoping for a next. VERDICT Purchase where James Howe's The Misfits is popular.—Cathleen Ash, Manor High School Library, TX

Kirkus Reviews


A diverse crew of space academy washouts cracks wise and kicks ass while racing against time to save Earth colonies from terrorists.

By the year 2194, space colonization is a fact of life, and future colony officers train at the Ellis Station Academy on the moon. Wannabe pilot Nax Hall is mortified at failing out of the program on his first day. When terrorists attack the station, Nax steals their shuttle to escape, along with three other Academy washouts: Rion, a rich black boy from London with an interest in politics; Zee, a blonde, athletic trans girl from Kazakhstan who's skilled at medicine and surgery; and Case, a former child genius and tech prodigy with two moms (one Latinx, one Asian) who suffers from panic attacks. By the time they team up with Asra, a Bengali Muslim hijabi girl and talented hacker, they've been framed for the assault and have only days to save the colonies. As the five flee from planet to planet with terrorists on their tail, they build a believable friendship. The banter flows freely and the tension stays high while Nax contends with his growing attraction to both Rion and Case. The refreshingly normalized representations of Muslim, South Asian, trans, and bisexual characters enrich this appealing story.

An action-packed, entertaining blend of space hijinks, humor, and romance. (Science fiction. 13-18)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062657688
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/17/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 104,800
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews