Synopsis: On the small space station Azura, Maxion Belmont is constantly torn between his two passions—engineering and music. Both are hobbies handed down from his father, which is bittersweet since his death two years ago. While his hydrodriver is great for repairing starship parts, his father’s old string instrument tugs at the latent grief Max hides from his mom and classmates with each chord he strums.
When a foreign starship appears on the horizon, Azura welcomes their first tourist in years. Enter Mr. Hames, starship captain and space-brained traveler. But there’s something weird about the stranger-turned-substitute teacher. He has no idea how to teach and thinks enlisting a group of twelve-year-olds to become his starship “crew” is totally normal. Or maybe it’s the fact he keeps raving about the existence of alien creatures in the vacuum of space: star whales.
As Max and the rest of Mr. Hames’s class/crew uncover the mysteries of the star whales, they discover they aren’t the only ones looking for the elusive creatures—and not every whaler has good intentions. Confronted with questions about his own father’s history with the star whales, Max must decide how far he’ll go to understand not only his father, but also the boy he’s become since his death . . . even at the expense of the star whales themselves.
Release Date: 23rd March 2021
Format Read: Ebook
Genres: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Space, Coming of Age, Grief, Friendship, Teen, Middle Grade
Thank you so much to Jolly Fish Press for the Earc to read and review through Netgalley.
Review: I will start by saying I personally am not a big fan of space or stories set in space, they don’t generally interest me. This story wasn’t just about space though it was about friendship, overcoming grief and learning about themselves. It was deep and had lots of heart to it.
We had an array of characters all written realistically, from tech kids, to engineers, adventurers, leaders, medically minded etc, everyone had flaws and insecurities; but also everyone had a talent that was incredibly useful in helping fix a ship and to find a Star Whale, a rare hardly ever seen being.
The story has a lot of different storylines going on in one story from Max’s grief, to his classmates, his music interest, the star whale, the ship, the whalers, his mom, the new teacher and a few more too. There was always so much happening throughout the story.
I loved the element of the Star Whale and honestly they were my favourite chapters. It sounded so magical and wondrous, I loved that magical element of the story. There were definitely some sections and storylines that were predictable and that was okay, didn’t take away from some of the really fun parts or the magical parts.
Overall the story was interesting, very different to what I would usually read but I still enjoyed reading this and learning something new. Reading a story set in space was different for me but it was good for my mind to try and visualise something like that. I loved the growth of the characters, the connections they all made, the mistakes that they had to learn from. This story may be about space but it had so much heart to it, you couldn’t not connect with the characters.
Where to buy: Amazon, Book Depository, Wordery
About Author: The wild Rebecca Thorne can be found in her natural habitat: the local coffee shop. She is rarely more than an arm’s length from her laptop and her “Becky’s” coffee mug. When not in pursuit of caffeine or cracking puns as a flight attendant for Southwest, she prefers to relax with her two dogs, ensconced in her
butt-cloud beanbag sofa. Find her online at rebeccathorne.net.