Thursday, August 3, 2023

Happy Book Birthday, Escape Route by Cassandra Rose Clarke

I'll admit it. As a kid, I was a Star Trek fan (I'd say Treky, but I wasn't extreme) and stayed that way all the way into college. Actually, there was a manager at the fast food place, where I worked during high school, who was a full-blown Treky. He went to the conventions, ran around shouting 'Beam Me Up, Scotty!' when an order wasn't out in time, and even picked up an original phaser and communicator from the original show. Yes, I got to hold one of these (which seems cooler when looking back than I gave it credit for as a teen). Anyway, today's read heads down this path in an attempt to draw in a new generation and have them dreaming of space and beyond. 

This is the third book in the series... and yes, we're celebrating its birthday, today!!! I have not read the first two in the series and will be hitting this one with fresh eyes.

Star Trek Prodigy, #3
by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Simon Spotlight
Middle Grade Science Fiction
160 pages
ages 8 to 12

Star Trek: Prodigy TM is a brand-new animated series streaming on Paramount+ and airing on Nickelodeon! Don’t miss this thrilling, original middle grade novel starring the Protostar crew!

The crew is on their way to Starfleet. Their shuttle is cramped, and everyone is cranky. That’s when Murf spots a moon that isn’t on their charts. Murf really wants to go there, so the crew decides to make a stop to stretch their legs and get some supplies.

But a small detour turns into a big dilemma when the inhabitants of the moon ask Murf to stay with them. The rest of the crew begins to wonder if this is a sign. Could it be time for each of them to go their separate ways?

TM & © 2023 CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and all related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. NICKELODEON and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.

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With fresh, young space explorers, this is an exciting adventure just right for young science fiction fans.

After escaping their prison and joining together in a small space craft on a very long journey back to Earth, the young crew is faced with a malfunction, which will make their trip go from another month to many years. Plus, they are already cranky from cramming together in the tight space for so long. To repair the ship, they'll need to stop on a planet, and while it first appears that this will be an impossibility, a strange moon suddenly appears where one shouldn't be. Not sure it's safe but having no choice, the crew lands, and what will soon promise to be a blessing is also a nightmare.

I recommend reading this one as a series. While each book holds a specific, wrapped-up adventure, it was a little difficult to settle in with the characters without having experienced their journey up to that point.

After stumbling a bit in the first chapter (which was my own fault for hitting this book without reading the other two first), this read takes off into an exciting ride. I was afraid it might force itself into the Star Trek universe, but while there are a few loose nods, these characters and the plot take their own direction. Each member of the crew has unique characteristics, talents, and personality (each being a different species), and they're still figuring out how to fit together as friends and a crew. Even though these are aliens, their actions, thoughts, and concerns are very fitting to the readers' age group. It's easy to connect with them, and readers will be able to picture themselves tackling the dangers of space right along with them.

The author has done a wonderful job at building the world and characters. There are just enough details to make the scenes come to life, while still leaving others to the readers' imaginations. It creates a fun balance, which also doesn't bog down with unnecessary descriptions. The exotic world, of course, holds a tense adventure, which draws in and doesn't let go until the end, since it's not clear how the crew will escape the problems they run into. And while this is moving along, the author slyly weaves in slight messages concerning pollution, friendship, trust and more. But these never steer the plot.

What I appreciated most was the pure, space fun. This lets the explorer spirit free and allows the excitement of discovering exciting, unexpected places and adventures to take simply take control. It's the kind of read, which invites to building a space craft and heading out to see what the universe holds.

1 comment:

Sherry Ellis said...

Sounds like a fun book for sci-fi fans!