Rachel Searles has created an action packed romp, like something that would fit on a shelf next to Andre Norton or Robert A. Heinlein circa 1965. A young boy wakes up with no memory and finds that the whole universe seems to be set against him. He’s got a mysterious past and seems to be some kind of special. That’s a classic Norton set-up.
The book is fast paced and has a bunch of interesting characters. Plenty of questions are asked and a few of them are answered by the end of the book. Some remain for the follow-up, The Stolen Moon, which I don’t have yet.
There’s a ton of action and the characters are rarely given much time before the next group of enemies bursts through the door or the next thing starts to explode. I think my favorite bit is when they land on the muddy planet and things get a bit sticky.
My only real complaint is that the final act of the book has a few too many twists, turns, revelations, and re-revelations. X is a villain! No wait, X is on our side! No wait, X only seems to be on our side! No wait… One or two startling reveals work, but much beyond that and it starts to feel like a 1990s straight-to-video thriller (the killer was Leland Orser the whole time!).
Other than the too twisty end, it’s a solid adventure story. It also features something often absent from the similarly themed Andre Norton novels it reminded me of, character development and depth. So, that’s a plus. If you’re looking to get kids into Science Fiction, this would make a nice starter.