The Lost Planet by Rachel Searles
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: January 2014
Summary: This is what the boy is told:
• He woke up on planet Trucon, inside a fence he shouldn’t have been able to pass.
• He has an annirad blaster wound to the back of his head.
• He has no memory.
• He is now under the protection of a mysterious benefactor.
• His name is Chase Garrety.
This is what Chase Garrety knows:
• He has a message: “Guide the star.”
• Time is running out.
Review: What?! A review?! But didn’t you stop?! Yes, I know. I made the decision to share my opinions. (I will share why on a later post… if I’m up to it). Anyway onto the review:
This book is marketed towards tweens (library-ish term) or middle-grade (publishing-ish term) age. Basically, middle school aged students. But I believe books are to be enjoyed by everyone. As an adult, I can still enjoy easy picture books… chuckle at a Musk Ox who believes every letter in the alphabet is in reference to the musk ox (this is a very real picture book)… Anyway, this book is a middle grade science fiction book. It’s fast paced and entertaining.
The book takes place in a solar system far from ours, though there are Earthans in this system. This book is greatly thought out in terms of plot. Events cycle and loop around to connect to one another. The plot is complex and yet easy to understand. Yes, there is once or twice where the reason for something to happen was weak (the report to change a certain someone’s mind about someone else’s mission and involvement) but there were many clever instances (“Guide the Star” explanation… a little stretch but I’m willing to buy it).
This book is filled with action and the pacing is fairly quick. Which gives room for issues with character development. I didn’t not like Parker. At all. He annoyed me. He’s selfish, thoughtless, and a tool. Though the story revolved around Chase, I felt like I didn’t know if I liked him or not. He wasn’t strong enough of a character for me to be the main character/hero. Sure, his memory is gone… but his actions and decision making are still there and yet the choices and reasoning he makes seem too thoughtless at times, even though a reason would be given later… I felt those reasons weren’t strong enough to compel me to agree or disagree with him…. it was like a “Ummm, ok… I guess.” All the other characters I was like “Meh. Okay.”
The space and science fiction aspect in this book were littered throughout it. I have read many science fiction space books and not many of them could give me the typically and expected world of a science fiction space world (read that as not at all science fiction-y). Here, in this novel, we get that. There aren’t any unnecessary explanations for certain things… enough so that a person can understand what is going on and what it is…. For example, in the book starships fold through space to quickly traverse the galaxy. Rather than explain the mechanics of how it works, Searles explains how the travel effects the human body. So if you like your science fictions filled with psuedo-science explanations this may not be for you. I enjoyed it.
Overall, this is a quick and enjoyable read. If you want serious explanation on the science and deep character exploration… you may have to look elsewhere.
(Picture is hyper-linked to their Goodreads’ page.)
Why the Recommendation: Like The Lost Planet this book features a young boy in space and both are filled with conspiracy. Though this one seems to involve an entire family and sibling rivalry. Oh and they’re pirates. This is also a middle grade novel.
The Planet Thieves by Dan Krokos
Why the Recommendation: This is also another middle grade novel about a boy in space. This time the boy is a cadet in a military-like organization. They are attacked by aliens and must survive and return home.
Why the recommendation: A young boy is the key to humanity’s survival in the fight against an alien race.