Star Trails Tetralogy Volume I
Beyond the Hidden Sky
Cover Design by Steven James Catizone
This first volume of the Star Trails Tetralogy, a science fiction series for teens and young adults, begins with a familiar scene, a heated conflict between two siblings.
Creena Brightstar, 14, and her brother,
Dirck, 17, have never gotten along.
They don’t understand each other and bicker constantly, particularly when it comes to following the rules. Dirck has always been
compliant while Creena questions everything, something that drove
him crazy on Mira III where her repeated noncompliance reports were a major embarrassment.
Desperate for some time alone, Creena goes off on
her own. Her usual escapades prevail and she accidentally sets in motion a chain of events that
will not only separate her farther from Dirck than she ever could
but ultimately scatter her entire family throughout the galaxy, each to face
harrowing situations the likes of which they've never seen.
A joy to read. Imaginative hard sci-fi with real-life characters
Imagine growing up in a regimented, well-ordered, pristine bubble. Then imagine you burst that bubble accidentally and your new playground suddenly opens up to include the galaxy, but you’re on your own, your family is travelling farther and farther away, you’re trapped in this escape pod, and there’s a virtual nanny telling you what to do. Imagine you’re a natural rebel.
Creena Brightstar is a rebel.
Dirck is her brother. Dirck is dutiful, compliant, and loves to drive his non-conforming sister crazy. This time he went too far. Now he’s with his father and on a mission to find Creena, only the big, bad world outside is nothing like the bubble he’s raved about all his life, and his dad has some rapid education to do.
This is such a fun, fascinating read. Marcha Fox knows her science, and the Brightstar children rapidly need to learn all this stuff about space travel, warp drive, and time bumps, and so the reader learns right along with them. Anyone who loves hard science will lap this book up. However, that and the wonderful world-building is the bonus.
The real joy in this story (the start of a bigger, complex, political sci-fi thriller chock-full of mysterious baddies) is Creena and Dirck’s development. Adversity tests, tries, and changes their outlook on life. In Marcha Fox’s world, never mistake inexperience for incompetence. She expects much from her young characters, and yet intuitively understands and empathises with them.
Oh, and there’s a robot I swear would drive C-3PO insane.
Overall, I highly recommend this book for both young and old and I will be gradually devouring the rest of this series.
--Ceri London, author of Rogue Genesis and Destiny
--Ceri London, author of Rogue Genesis and Destiny Nexus
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