Young cadets enter training to become space explorers only to find that their real mission may be far more sinister than exploration.
Twelve-year-old Jasper is one of the elite few chosen to be part of the first group of cadets matriculating into the EarthBound Space Academy. Of course he has known his whole life that he and his younger sister are Bounders, individuals specially bred for the ability to handle space travel. And when he finally dons the uniform and reports for duty, all of the teasing he has endured for being unfocused or undisciplined falls away. Oddly, it turns out that most Bounders have similar issues. Problems with self-control, OCD, or even mild autism are the norm. But when their training begins to look suspiciously like preparing for war, Jasper and his friends start digging for answers. What they find is worse than they imagined. While the origin of the Bounders is intriguing, it is not enough to overcome the dodgy science, cardboard characters, and meandering plot. Slow-moving and lacking tension, this is one space adventure that is not out of this world.
A bland treatment of a familiar premise. (Science fiction. 8-12)