Barron's first novel, aimed at YA readers, sends a young girl on an implausible journey to a distant star in search of a way to save the Sun from going out. Kate Gordon's Grandfather, a famous astronomer, discovers a new form of energy, Pure Condensed Light (PCL). This magical substance is the secret of faster-than-light travel, and also of the life cycle of stars. When a measurement of the Sun's PCL reveals that it is about to go out, Grandfather decides that the luminous star Trethoniel must hold the key to reigniting it. He and Kate travel to Trethoniel by means of PCL, where they discover that Darkness (in the form of a snake-like being) is attacking the star. With help from the crystal-like natives of Trethoniers planets, and the power of PCL, Kate and Grandfather overcome the Darkness and save the Sun. Both the crisis and its resolution are obviously manufactured out of whole cloth, so as to defy even a teen-age reader's credulity. Unusually imperceptive teens may be taken in by this farrago of dime-store mysticism and smarmy sentiment, but adults (even hard-core fantasy fans) are best advised to steer clear.