Thursday, February 24, 2011

Star Scout Rising: First Trail volume one - by Gary Darby

I loved this book. It took me on an unexpected adventure in Outer Space,
Star Date 2433.056 !!!

At first I thought the picture on the cover looked really scary, but you should never judge a book by its cover because later the picture was very helpful in understanding a few parts in the book. It was supposed to look scary because the creature was actually terrifying! This was a book I just couldn't put down. It took me a while to figure out who was who with so many characters right at the beginning, but as I got more and more into the story it started coming together. The house didn't get cleaned and the kids didn't get dinner because some books just take you away to another world. This book did that and it was quite an adventure.

The story takes place in the future and there are people living all over the universes. Space Flight is normal and different planets have been discovered all over. There are all kinds of different vegetation and animals on all the planets, some dangerous some harmless. The air or the water could have deadly parasites or particles in it that could kill humans. It is amazing how much imagination went into this book, it is truly amazing! My son is 13, he read it too and loved it!

The main character is a young boy named Del. He is in training to become a Star Scout. He has to go through a series of tests to move up the ladder. Usually the tests are hands on. It has a military feel to it. He has a team and they learn to work together, or try to learn to work together. Of course their is a lot of learning about relationships and communication that goes into this kind of trust in any team. The Star Scouts explore new places and document what they find. This is all fine and dandy as Del and his team tries to track a creature on a foreign planet, perfectly harmless, or not? Then things get tricky. During one test he discovers he is not only the hunter but also the hunted! And then they find out they are not the only humans on the planet when there shouldn't be anyone else there at the time! Are they poachers, a gang of robbers, or sightseers? I won't give it away for you.

There is also another story that seems to intersect. There are terrorists called the Fraction that are highly organized. They seem to be ahead of the Star Scouts and the politicians every move. In fact there are some mysterious missing in action comrades and what is the connection? They are hiding something big and getting more powerful. What are they up too and how does that affect the Star Scouts, the peaceful explorers of Space?

Also, Del's father has a mysterious history and that is one reason he wants to be a Star Scout, to find his father. Del's uncle, Jak McCarel is also a Star Scout, he seems to an important figure in the story but I haven't figured out why yet. He is sent to investigate the terrorists and find the leaks from the inside of his organization. I can't wait to see what he does next, I hope the second book is written soon!

This book reminds me of the Boy Scouts but on a much more intense level. Literally out of this world. The Star Scouts need to work together and follow a seasoned Star Scout leader, like a Scout Master. He has trained them and started them out small and as they get older and better at what they do the level of difficulty and decision making gets more intense. Just like Scouts, they start out in Cubs then more to Scouts then Ventures and do an Eagle project...

Del gets into many near death adventures but he keeps his head and is still surviving out there. I can't wait to see what could possibly happen next to this kid. From diving in a lake of acid when his spaceship is in the middle of a acid tsunami and volcanoes are erupting on some strange planet, what could he possibly face worse then this? hmmmm And did I mention the girl on the team? Will Del fall madly in love, will this compromise his judgment when making key decision of life an death for his team and his chance to be a Star Scout?

I can't wait for the next book.

My personal classification: WHOLE BOOK

Here is the link for the authors website.

Purchase Link and Kindle


Gary Darby said...

Thank you so much for your kind review of my novel. I am particularly happy that your 13-year old liked the story. As a teenager myself (many, many moons ago) reading good science fiction was about my favorite pastime. Best to you and thanks again.

Gary Darby

Mike S said...

Sounds quite interesting!