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  • A great mix of space opera and coming of age story

    Ravena O'Brien lives on a worldship called the Dandridge Cole which was carved out of the center of a small moon-sized asteroid and then transported over many generations to it's new home orbiting a planet in an adjacent solar system. One hundred years past the original exodus, a small contingent of eccentric free-thinkers still calls the hollow moon its home and lives peacefully, away from the influence and intrigues of the now-corporatized other settled planets. Ravena is a resourceful, but otherwise ordinary girl who studies engineering, sometimes helps her father pilot his independently-owned spaceship, and has a free-thinking electronic cat named 'Jones' who gets into mischief, and gets her into mischief along with it. Then Ravena witnesses one of the residents of the hollow moon get kidnapped, the young heir to one of the corporatized planets whose mother fled with him to the hollow moon to evade those who would use the young Raj. Ravena and her father go in search of the missing Raj, and in the process meet some new friends, fellow 15-year-olds on their way to a music competition, some bad guys, and some unlikely allies, along with ... aliens? This is a nice space-hopping adventure which blends a love of science fiction with a good old-fashioned coming of age adventure story. Ravena is naturally resourceful and uses her head, but it's not overly-done or unrealistic (for the most part ... we ARE talking science fiction here!). The science seemed, to me, to be relatively sound, with occasional hints of real-life scientific principals, just enough to pepper the story, not so much as to make the pacing slow down. One nice detail is Ravena's mother was of India descent, while some of the colonized worlds carry either a heavy Chinese or Indian colonization influence, so this wasn't your usual 'white girl in space' story, but neither was the influence overdone (think Firefly and Serenity ... it's a nice, subtle addition to the worldbuilding). I read this, and now it's off to my 13-year-old to read as well. A fun, planet-hopping read to whet a Young Adult's appetite for something besides sparkly vampires!

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