Thursday, July 21, 2022

Today's read... Beyond the Stars by Doreen Berger

 Today's read is the second book in a series, and believe it or not, I did read the first one when it appeared last year. Since the first one was so original and well done, I couldn't pass on taking a glimpse...okay, really diving into this second adventure. 

It's time to start your engines because we're heading into space and the great beyonds with this read.

The Captain's Daughters
by Doreen D. Berger
Middle Grade Science Fiction
292 pages
ages 9 to 13


Mischievous sisters Diane and Robin are already in trouble with their father, Captain William Marsh, commander of the starship Polaris, for a stunt they just pulled. Their punishment (grounded…again!) is cut short with the arrival of Jannel, a soft-spoken, shy girl roughly their age, and the future ruler of the planet Lasusia. Jannel has been sent to the Polaris for safekeeping from a deadly virus running rampant on her home world. As Diane and Robin learn about their new friend and the problems she faces on her war-torn planet, they vow to help her, even though they understand it means getting deeper into trouble with their father. But they are soon in over their heads, stricken by the virus, and trapped by their father’s mortal enemy. They must use all their instincts and resources to escape before they perish from the virus, along with all hopes of planetary peace.



Wholesome reads are anything but boring, and the adventure in these pages proves it.

Diane and Robin have been sneaking out and are in trouble, again, but their frustration over being grounded ends quickly as they soon are introduced to their father's next mission. In order to save a planet's future, they are to transport the future ruler to another location and keep her safe. The girl is about the same age as Diane and Robin, and they soon warm up to her. When she tells them about her true problems, they promise to do anything they can to help. Not only does this mean they'll be going against their father's rules, but soon, they'll find themselves in more danger than they expected.

While this book, the second in the series, does do a pretty good job of laying enough background to let readers dive in without reading the first, there is still some information missing, which is important to really understand and enjoy the adventure. So, while this can be read as a stand-alone, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

This is the only series I've run across, so far, which manages to take the wholesome goodness of gentler reads and bring it into a space adventure, and that while adding just the right amount of tension to keep things more than interesting. Diane and Robin are a great pair of sisters, who don't always get along perfectly but have each other's backs, no matter what. The father, although very busy in his position, adores them and offers them quite a bit of family warmth. The relationships are inspiring, and even when the girls don't always behave (they have a knack for getting into trouble), forgiveness and patience is always waiting.

But this story heads in a unique direction, in that the girls and their father zoom between planets and deal with evil plots and difficult circumstances. (Think the goodness of The Brady Bunch in small version and launched into space excitement). Diane and Robin are always happy to bend the rules, especially when it means helping someone. They have good moral compasses and put their heart into their decisions, even when it means making mistakes...plenty of them. The tension definitely mounts to keep the tale grabbing, and there are more than a few moments, when it's unclear if they're going to make it through. 

This is a great read for those, who love family-friendly tales, but also enjoy the excitement of heading out into space and taking on evil aliens with deadly intrigue. It's an original mix with tons of goodness, which I can recommend.

1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Good to know that you might be able to start with book 2 in the series. Glad to hear you're enjoying the series so much.