The other settlers are almost a ghost story to us. We’ve had no communications from them either in my lifetime or my parents’, so we always figured they didn’t make it. It’s a long, long trip from Old World to New, decades and decades, and so they were still on their way when our convoy left. But we heard nothing from them. Even our deepest space probes only caught distant glimpses of them as they travelled. Then after the time came when they would have landed, still years before I was born, it was hoped that we could communicate with them on the planet as we got closer, let them know we were coming, asking what it was like, what we should prepare ourselves for. But either no one was listening, or no one was there anymore.
The story is told in the first person from Viola’s perspective and in this it anticipates The Ask And The Answer, the second book in Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy, in which the narrative is split between her and Todd. It also anticipates its blend of mixture of fear, violence and hope. My review of The Ask And The Answer will be published at Strange Horizons in the next couple of months but suffice to say you should go out and buy it now.