Europa Academy, Book One
by Myles Christensen
Moon Zoom Press
Upper Middle Grade/ YA Science Fiction
He has trouble following the rules on Earth, but Jupiter’s moon could kill his curiosity for good…
Thirteen-year-old Max Parker is a grounded Earthling with the soul of a space explorer. So when he learns his family is relocating to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, he readily agrees to stay out of trouble. But his promise is soon forgotten, and his snooping lands him on a shuttle doomed for a fiery disintegration.
Convinced someone sabotaged the craft to cover up the theft he witnessed, Max digs into the incident. What else could they be hiding? Dodging a series of deadly accidents, he follows the clues to an abandoned outpost and discovers a secret that could blow the lid off a moon-wide conspiracy. Can he solve the mystery before his interplanetary escapade gets him killed?
Thirteen-year-old Max is excited to get to leave Earth and live on one of Jupiter's moons. There, he meets some new friends, but thanks to his curious spirit, gets stuck on a shuttle on its way to be destroyed. He's convinced this isn't an accident but a plot to cover up a theft. Can he discover the truth?
This is one of those lovely scifis which leaves Earth behind and allows kids to hit the exploration of space with all of the fun space stations, other planets and space ships brings. The scene is refreshing and exciting. And with these very curious and ready heroes, it promised to be a lot of fun. There's imagination, excitement, secrets, mystery, danger and spunky personalities too. Even the writing itself sits and draws into the world. In other words, there are a lot of good things in this one. Still, it didn't grab me the way I'd hoped.
While the space aspect and mystery were fun...as well as the characters...there were more than a couple of slow spots. I caught myself laying this one done every few chapters. When I'd pick it up, there'd be an interesting scene and then I found myself drifting again. But I'm sure it will grab some readers more than it did me.