3 out of 4 stars
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Humanity has tried to reach for the stars; but, each time a ship has attempted to leave the solar system, aliens have destroyed them. Humanity has had to content themselves with settling on the Moon (now called Luna) and Mars. Not everyone is satisfied with this arrangement, though.
Cadet John Roberts has always wanted to explore space. He is in training at The Academy, which is run by TERRA (Tactical Earth Reconnaissance & Recovery Authority), to do that very thing. Unfortunately, though, he doesn't have the best reputation and is continually challenging authority - all reasons why Superintendent Mortino is glad to share that Cadet Roberts will be one of the first members of the new TERRA reserves and will not be going out into space. To say that John was upset would be putting it mildly. Therefore, when he is presented with the opportunity to venture out into space after all, he jumps at the chance. Will John be part of the first ship to defy this alien contingency and escape the solar system? Or will TERRA stop them before they even leave the planet?
Exodus Of The Phoenix by Robert Stadnik is a thrilling science fiction adventure and the first of a series. The book consists of around 440 pages; however, the font is large and double-spaced, which makes for a quick read. There is some mild language and peril, but I would consider it appropriate for young adults up.
The plot of the book is relatively straightforward. Humanity wants to explore the world, but they must contend with an alien race before doing so. While there is some resemblance to Star Trek, the novel takes on a life of its own. The characters and situations are unique and enjoyable.
My favorite part of the book, beyond the new technologies and futuristic setting, was the author's ability to immerse the reader in the story completely. When the characters consider leaving Earth to possibly never return, I felt their anguish at having to leave behind those that they love. I found myself with tears in my eyes in reading their last conversations. I held my breath as I waited to see what the outcome of the conflicts would be. This is not a book that is easily forgotten, and I kept wanting to read more.
There was one minor downside to the novel; it was not professionally edited. The mistakes were not overly distracting, nor were they extremely plentiful. In fact, it took me 100 pages to find ten errors. These mainly consisted of incorrect words or tenses. For example, "finals exams" was written instead of "final exams". Once I was able to stop counting the errors, I stopped noticing them.
All in all, I very much enjoyed reading Exodus Of The Phoenix. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I was forced to deduct a star due to the lack of professional editing. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good space opera. Be forewarned, though, that there is a cliffhanger ending. I, for one, can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Exodus Of The Phoenix
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