Brilliant Storytelling, or, The Birth of The Magnificent Seven
I have had this book on my "books to read" list since December, always choosing another book to read, any book, as long as it was not sci-fi. Finally, there was no getting around it, and author R.E. Weber's, "The Star Agency" got his day in court. Let me say right now I was pleasantly surprised. The story telling genuinely merits the descriptive term, "brilliant". It held me engaged throughout the entire book.
The plot is well-developed, with a thoroughly likable protagonist, a 13-year-old boy named Theopolis. Of course, he hates that name, and prefers to be called "Theo". His best friend is a 12-year-old girl named Julie, whom Theo prefers to call "Jules". Theo's grandfather has recently died (Theo had been taking care of him). His aunt has come to live with him, as Theo refuses to leave Brightside Farm, which he now owns since his grandfather's death.
In sum, we have a young boy trying to deal with his emotions after the loss of the grandfather who he cherished. He does not get along well with his aunt. We can see they do not share any emotional bonds, any affection, nothing that would make their relationship special to either of them. Theo connects emotionally with Jules, who understands his feelings about losing his grandfather. Into this scenario comes the precipitating event, the arrival of a mysterious letter and a package containing an old newspaper...It will lead to an adventure 500 light years away, a new life in a new and fantastic world...Highly recommended for young readers, teens, and adults who enjoy sci-fi.
Reviewed by Thomas Jerome Baker
Author of "Story Tellers: In Pursuit of Happiness"
(review of free book)