3 out of 4 stars
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Johnny Quantum: Flight of the Aereothenon is the first book in the Quantum Chronicles created by Tom Pawlik.
Excited after finding the perfect gift for his mother, twelve year old John Quinn happily walks home to their apartment in Manhattan. His elation, however, is dampened when three bullies from his school get in his way and try to steal his precious find. Overcome by rage, John inadvertently releases a powerful energy he does not know he has.
John tries to keep the incident from his mother, but the arrival of a stranger changes everything John knows about his mother, about himself, and about the planet he lives in.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to John, his energy signature is detected by the CIA Office of Paranormal Investigations which detected that same energy signature twenty years ago when an enigmatic UFO entered Earth’s atmosphere but which signal mysteriously disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean.
Told in the third person perspective, this is an exciting, suspenseful and fast-paced science fiction novel. The story has a solid plot which is established early on and makes the book easy to read. However, even without any puzzle to solve and mystery to uncover, the author successfully wrote a very suspenseful book by creating exciting scenes including fighting, chasing and search and rescue scenes among others.
Moreover, the book boasts of interesting and endearing characters first of which is John Quinn, the protagonist himself. He is half human and half Ethyrian who is trying to find out how to use his newly found power. Then, there’s the brave and honorable soldier and pilot of the Aereothenon, the Anterran Queleg, whose soft heart is concealed by his stern countenance. There is also Jax, the stubborn but very smart daughter of the Head of the Interplanetary Council who has a talent for getting herself, and others, into trouble; Winston, the passive Onkono who is about to discover something about himself; Ziva, the rigid and brave cadet who apparently wants to have friends and Theron, Ziva’s cousin, who looks down on half-breeds like John.
In addition, the book is teeming with fascinating various alien races like Mangorian, Thorgon, Sorian, Enzedi and monstrous creatures like chorn, krolar and mordocks. Finally, unlike some books in a series which commonly end in cliffhangers, this book has an ultimately satisfying ending.
What I like most about this book, however, is the emphasis on a mother’s love. It shows what a mother is willing to do and how much she is willing to give of herself for that very special individual that is her child.
However, I noticed several errors within the book including typos (tarioninc instead of tarionic, his foot struck a rock the sent him tumbling), missing words (not impervious their damage) and misspelled words (deary instead of dreary and Throgons instead of Thorgons) that I recommend another round of editing.
I, therefore, rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is an exciting and suspenseful read and I recommend it to fans of science fiction novels.
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