Two races of humans, several alien species, multiple starships and planets – this story ranges across a galaxy in Marcha Fox’s Beyond Hidden Skies.
The Brightstar family is moving from a safe but restrictive planet to a dangerous outpost world. Creena is a young teenager, a hybrid of the two human races, angry at her brother, in constant trouble for breaking rules, and also my favorite character.
As her family travels via starship to their new world, she seems to be accidentally trapped in an escape pod that launches to the wrong planet. But it may not have been an accident – a powerful man is trying to manipulate her father.
Creena’s reactions are realistic without being annoying (well, only appropriately annoying for a young teen) and her problem-solving feels plausible. Her longing to be back with her family is something I can relate to.
Fox infuses her story with the physics of space-time. The ships are traveling near the speed of light, using Time Dilation Modules. Three main subplots spin out in the book, involving Creena and various members of her family and some interesting comrades they find along the way.
As the characters navigate relations with alien species and space-time, they ponder the role of logic versus feelings, and debate taking action themselves versus trusting the Universeto provide. Growing up for Creena and her brothers requires confronting and overcoming “a serious challenge, [to] learn the meaning of courage.”
This is the first volume in a series, so all those ships, worlds, and species continue over the course of three more books, all available now. Cool.
What others are saying
“I really got involved in the story. I found it quite imaginative and entertaining. I felt that the author did a wonderful job of portraying a young teenage girl, full of fire and yet torn in so many directions.” Jay B. Cutts
“I’m a sci-fi space fan and this story ticked all my boxes.” Wendy Scott
“The authors background with NASA plays a big role in the development of these books. I read the entire series.” Dawn Ireland
Personally, I like real science in my science fiction, but one reviewer said “too much techno-babble.” sterling r walker