I read this book in middle or junior high school in the early 2000s. I don't recall the exact circumstances that led to these teens being on this planet, but there were an even number of them (I don't remember the exact number), half boys and half girls, and there was some sort of AI involved. I think the AI was housed in a derelict ship of some sort(?) and I think the main character could communicate with the AI remotely somehow, via telepathy or nanomachines or whatever.

The planet was habitable but seemingly uninhabited by intelligent life, and the AI paired off the kids to populate the planet based on whatever combination it decided was genetically optimal for that goal.

Two of the boys were the main character and his brother, and the brother was paraplegic. The girl that was paired with him had misgivings about it initially before eventually warming up to him.

I have a feeling this book is from a series, but if it is, this was the only book I read from it.

(edit) Some additional details:

  • I read it in the early 2000s but I don't know when it was actually published, could have been earlier.
  • It was a hard cover book; the art had a jungle/forest-y scene on the front.
  • I have a feeling the title was only 1 or 2 words long, possibly the name they gave to the planet?
  • I'm in the process of fleshing out my answer, but just putting it out there, once someone does post a correct answer (and there's no pressure to accept an answer which might be correct, but doesn't match your memories), you can accept it by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons, as per the tour.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 15:10

2 Answers 2


After searching on and off for a few days I've finally figured it out. It was the first book of the Homecoming Saga by Orson Scott Card, The Memory of Earth. Based on the Wikipedia summaries I may have read the second book as well. It seems my hazy recollections were off quite a bit, even the part about the cover. I read the first book in this series because I had just finished reading Ender's Game around that time and recognized the author.

The characters I mentioned were:

The Oversoul: Artificial intelligence that records all events on Harmony, worshipped as a goddess by the women and a god by the men. It is able to influence the actions of the people, who were genetically altered to be able to receive its directions.

Nafai: Fourteen at the start of the series, he is chosen by the Oversoul to lead the expedition to Earth, in part because of his extraordinary connection to it. He is clever and well-intentioned, but is young, and has difficulty knowing when to stop talking.

Issib: Nafai's older brother, crippled by trauma in the womb. In Basilica and in the vicinity of the ships he can move with the aid of "floats", which move his limbs in response to simple muscle contractions, but outside of these areas he is confined to a high-tech chair.

Hushidh: Luet's older sister, she is a raveler: able to see the relationships between people manifested as threads in her vision.[...]Though she at first sees her marriage to Issib as a convenient pairing of the unmarried males and females on the trip, they fall in love.

  • 1
    Excellent! I'm glad you found it, and congrats on also accepting your own answer. :)
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 16:28

My first thought is Katherine Applegate's Remnants series.

It is the story of what happens to the survivors of a desperate mission to save a handful of human beings after an asteroid collides with the Earth. Eighty people are placed aboard a converted space shuttle using untested "quack" hibernation technology and fired blindly into space hours before all life on Earth is obliterated by a large asteroid called The Rock. They are then picked up by a large, sentient space craft of monumental proportions known as 'Mother' which is inhabited by various races. 'Mother' can manipulate the physical environment within the craft's limits and often does so. Only a few people placed in stasis actually were alive and capable of being reanimated when they reached 'Mother'.

Unfortunately, I never read the series, so I don't know which book this might refer to.

  • After reading a bit further, I can't find a paraplegic character, and it sounds like they spend their time on Mother, not the planet they were headed for, something I misremembered from other times this story has come up, as per scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/64166/…
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 15:16
  • Unfortunately it's not this one.
    – k-kaku
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 15:46

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