Aspiring terraformer Elara Vaughn is back after summer break.
But the Seven Systems School of Terraforming Sciences and Arts has been closed—news that didn’t make it to her remote planet. Now she’s in a new school that’s situated on a spaceship, and it’s got a decidedly military cast. Worse, her nemesis from last year, Suue Damo’n, is Elara’s new roommate, and neither girl is thrilled. Elara knows something is really wrong when she receives a chrono-hopper from time-traveling agent Groob, who helped her and her friends defeat their evil headmistress in series opener Planet Terra: Crash Course (2017). Elara’s friends, Beezle, Sabik, and Knot, want her to forget what happened last school year and focus on her studies, but that’s not going to stop her from investigating the Watchman, a new councilman in the Seven Stars System who, impossibly, has another chrono-hopper. Slowly she comes to believe that everyone around her has been brainwashed—can she successfully pretend to be brainwashed too as she seeks to restore order? The plot’s pacing is unbalanced, with a slow, exposition-heavy first half and an action-heavy second half. Still, dark-skinned Elara and her extremely diverse friends—the student body is made up of a dizzying array of ETs—are appealing, as is Walker’s far-future, outer-space world. Zoo’s grayscale illustrations set up each chapter.
Fans of Book 1 will enjoy hopping around time and space with Elara and her friends again. (Science fiction. 8-12)