Thursday, February 18, 2010

Explorer X – Alpha by L. M. Preston

NOTE: Explorer X - Alpha was a free review copy provided to Luke Reviews by L. M. Preston.

Luke Reviews occasionally looks at YA fiction that fits in the usual genres of choice, but not often. However, when I received the request to review L.M. Preston’s first novel, I really wanted to give it a go. Her goal is to inspire young adults, to show them that they can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds and achieve their dreams. That is a cause I can get behind. Thus, I dove into Explorer X – Alpha with high hopes.

Aadi’s parents sign him up for space camp. He has no interest in going, but at his parents insistence he does. Along with learning how to pilot a ship that will take him to other planets and having a strenuous physical exam, Aadi meets a number of other kids his age, creating friendships and making enemies. However, when the immunization shots prove to be more than they seem, and a freak accident occurs, Aadi and his partner, Eirena, must pull together to save themselves, and return to save their friends.

Explorer X – Alpha occasionally suffers from common problems you see among self-published books; mainly, the occasional awkward dialogue, or a missing character motivation. These rough patches aren’t constant, but they do pop up occasionally.

That said, however, the story itself more than makes up for the occasionally unpolished details. Preston has created a very fun story that the reader will get into rapidly and without problem. The major characters are very fun, and their relationships feel very human. The interactions feel right, and the story keeps up a nice pace. The best part, however, is that Preston has created a story that, while very accessible to the YA age group, is a book that the older crowd can have fun with as well. Parents will enjoy reading this to their kids, or sharing it with them after they got a crack at it. A YA story doesn’t have to overly simplify, and can certainly appeal to all ages, and Preston makes a very good stab at that here.

Explorer X – Alpha is occasionally flawed, but the story is more than worth it, and any perceived problems can be easily moved past. This one is very enjoyable, and a great set up to a series I can’t wait to read more of.


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