Reviewed by -- Shadow Walker
Book Review of -- Star Maps by J.S. Frankel
Overall star rating --- 5
About the book:
Seeing is believing, and when Carl Thornton, seventeen-year-old UFO enthusiast and high school nerd, sees a double of his homeroom teacher, he knows that something is not quite right.
Then again, he lives in Rachel, Nevada, the area known as 'UFO Central'. Formerly from Chicago, he came to live with his alcoholic uncle after the untimely death of his parents. His fondest wish is to gaze at the stars and see a UFO.
Wish granted on both counts, as he meets Grace Paxton, a high school junior and a recent transfer student. Through a series of circumstances, he discovers that Grace is a shape-shifting alien, a Theriantan, and once he's with her and her people, he learns the real reason for Area 51, the secrets it holds... and the danger that lurks beyond.
Book creation ratings:
Overall total -- 29 out of a possible 30
-- Story & characters -- 10
-- Cover & title -- 10
-- Editing & formatting -- 9
* based on a 1-10 scale with: 1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*
The review --
The three page Prologue sets the stage for this 5 Star Science Fiction Adventure. The opening pages are filled with strong imagery and begs the question, "How did Carl get here and where's here?" The answers aren't fully known until near the end of the book. The author hooked me with the opening paragraph, and I finished the book in two sessions. It's 120 pages of quality reading that you will enjoy.
The author shows great skill in developing all the characters in his story from Carl through General Waterston. He doesn't just mention the characters, but he shares insights and moments into the often mentioned characters of the book. I found myself fully invested in Carl and his friends throughout the story. I found this book easy to read and follow. The use of imagery and sentence structure really made this a fun book to read. I could tell the author has a strong command of the English language and vocabulary. His use of words made me see the action in my mind and I couldn't stop reading the book. I think that's the highest compliment I could pay any author.
The pace of the book was very good. Have you ever read a book where the scenes seemed hurried and incomplete? The pace was never hurried, but it never dragged either. I felt like the author and I took a nice leisurely walk today. His movement back and forth through time were skillfully done. We stopped and looked at scenes being played out in peoples lives before moving on. Some things made me mad, then others happy, and other times I wanted to join in, but we kept walking at that nice summertime pace. We were walking toward the conclusion of the story.
I really think many books suffer today from incomplete stories. The author gives you an exciting ending to this story. I won't say another word about the ending of this book except get it! Enjoy. I want some Strawberry Ice Cream now after that book.
Genre -- Science Fiction Adventure.
Age recommendations -- 6th grade through adulthood. It could serve as a great introductory work into the science fiction world, or an excellent addition for the mature reader.
Sex content rating -- None
Violence rating -- Mild
Links for the book:
Buy it on Amazon
Author's Amazon page
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