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STARBOUNDERS by Adam Jay Epstein


From the Starbounders series, volume 1

by Adam Jay Epstein ; Andrew Jacobson

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: June 4th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-212022-9
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Switching schools means making new friends and remembering a new locker combination, but at Indigo 8, Earth’s site for Starbounders-in-training, lessons tend to be a little more otherworldly.

Incoming freshman Zachary Night has more than his new warp glove, the starchery range and the zero-gravity Qube to negotiate. Zachary is following in the footsteps of generations of Nights dedicated to protecting Earth from various outerverse threats. However, he is confident that with training he can live up to the legacy. But when a custodial detail on a freighter goes awry, Zachary and his new friends are literally lost in space. The trio soon find themselves fighting space pirates, trying to survive hostile planets and negotiating a whole universe of alien species. Stock characters—a bumbling-but-lovable alien; a sassy girl with a chip on her shoulder; a hero with a legacy to claim—populate this uninspired adventure. Unfortunately, while its inspiration is clear (Alex Rider meets Percy Jackson in space!), the execution is anything but. Lame humor, familiar gadgets and a predictable plot collide, creating a story that will not satisfy even the most hard-core space junkies.

A trek few will want to take. (Science fiction. 9-12)