Book Review: The Boy from Earth

Scheduled to release on September 18th, Darrell Pitt’s The Boy from Earth is a sci-fi adventure story aimed at ages 8-12.

TheBoyFromEarth_borderIf you love Guardians of the Galaxy, you’ll love The Boy From Earth by Darrell Pitt. It’s a fast-paced, boot-camp-flavored adventure filled with humor, heart, and unforgettable characters.

The tale follows Bobby Baxter, the first person from Earth chosen to join the Galactic Space Academy, as he learns to expect the unexpected. He and his friends investigate a conspiracy they believe is linked to the sabotage of Bobby’s spacecraft. But, in the end, they uncover a far more dangerous plot. Will Bobby find the courage to prevail, even against those working to ensure he fails?

My eleven-year-old son and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s one we could read over and over again.

You can pre-order a copy of The Boy from Earth here.

(I requested a free advanced copy of The Boy from Earth from the publisher to read and review, without any obligation or formal request to do so.)

The Story

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Twelve-year-old Bobby Baxter’s not the bravest kid on Earth. His list of things that scare him is up to number 689, and includes lightning, crowds, spiders, alien abductions, crocodiles, falling from great heights, falling from small heights and… eggs. So when he learns that he’s the first Earthling ever chosen to attend the Galactic Space Academy, light years away from home, he’s terrified―and that’s before he discovers that someone at the academy wants the boy from Earth gone.

Author Bio (from darrellpitt.com)

I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I had some positive feedback from a teacher in high school. Rather than becoming the next Stephen King I became a husband and a father instead and I’m fortunate to have such a wonderful family.

I recently signed an 8 book publishing deal with Text Publishing. It will see most of my self-published books re-released with the first, The Firebird Mystery, due out in February 2014.

I lived most of my life in Sydney, Australia before moving to the South Coast of New South Wales for a number of years. I currently call Melbourne my home (it’s a fantastic city – you should visit if you get a chance!)

I enjoy writing young adult novels. I like fast paced action stories populated with interesting characters and I hope my writing reflects this.

My other interests include Star Trek, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games books and chocolate. Always chocolate. I’ve never met a chocolate I didn’t like. One of the big loves of my life is Toastmasters. Have a look at my club’s website:

www.fitzroytoastmasters.org.au


Fun and Casual, Scifi Reads from the Road

Moving plus holiday travel equaled lots of time on the road (and in the air). Seems like the perfect time to catch up on reading, but it really depends upon the type of book. I enjoy books that fully immerse me into their skillfully woven, complex tapestry, but not when I can’t give them my undivided attention.

Instead, for the road, I prefer short, easy reads that provide a fun distraction. Stories I can start and stop at leisure without grumbling at each interruption. :-)

Here are two fun and casual, scifi reads from my recent travels.

Old School for Young, Chapter Book Readers

61YRm9Gn9JL._SY346_That Game From Outer Space by Stephen Manes (illustrated by Tony Auth)

From the back cover:
Oscar Noodleman is just an average kid. Nothing exciting ever happens to him. Then one day a giant video game appears mysteriously in Pete’s Pizza Palace.  Suddenly, Oscar’s life isn’t boring anymore!

Fun Factor: Playing catch – A familiar game with a couple of curve balls.

What I liked: An easy science fiction read for beginning chapter book readers that offers an opportunity for a deeper discussion about kindness and empathy.

That Game From Outer Space on Amazon

New and Different for Young Adult Readers

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Hearts Ablaze by Janeen Ippolito
*This book was re-released in 2017 under the title My Alien Boyfriend.

From the back cover:
Anthony Salamandras is the perfect boyfriend: attractive, wealthy, caring, and fine with hanging out in the library while Kelley Vanders-Froggett studies for her senior year of college. Sure, she’s never seen his family or visited his home, but details like that can be sorted out after graduation.

Then he pops the question –and sweeps Kelley off to another planet. Now she’s dealing with alien future in-laws, creepy lizards, and a fiery transformation. Not to mention a fiancé who has no clue that this is not how Earth girls celebrate an engagement.

Kelley’s in over her head. But one thing’s for sure: Anthony’s gonna find out just what this daughter of a vacuum cleaner repairman is made of.

Fun Factor: Picnic in the park – A relaxing, sunny day that makes you smile.

What I liked: Pairing of the daughter of vacuum cleaner repairman with a fiery alien was an interesting choice. It’s a big part of why I choose to pick up this book – I enjoy quirky twists. This novella reminded me of the movie “Warm Bodies”.

Hearts Ablaze on Amazon

Are there any fun and casual reads you recommend?


Book Review: Lawless by Janeen Ippolito

Having previously been introduced to Janeen Ippolito’s writing in her short story, “Superhero Publicist”, in the “Hall of Heroes” anthology, I jumped at the opportunity to request and receive a free copy of “Lawless: the Ironfire Legacy” for the purposes of a review.

The characters really brought this book to life for me. The tangled weave of Kesia’s past and the challenges she faced drew me into the world of Sekastra. I loved the bond between Kesia and Zephryn, but, in the beginning, I also secretly rooted for the tide to turn in favor of Captain Windkeeper. I was torn between which of the two suitors I favored more for her.

While the romantic triangle makes for some interesting situations and dialogue, romance is not the focus of this story.  The real source of conflict is a long-time war between two cultures that had once worked together. Twists and turns paired with excellent world building, Lawless is an engaging story filled with tension and intrigue.

I look forward to reading more of Janeen Ippolito’s skillfully woven and wonderfully inventive tales in the future.

The Story

The salvation of humans and dragons lies within a convicted murderer.

Dragonshifter Kesia Ironfire has one goal—to redeem her past by serving the cruel dragon Pinnacle as a soldier in the dragon-human war.

Then a rogue mission to spy on a new airship explodes into sickening green smoke. The same mysterious green smoke that was present the night of Kesia’s crime. When her dragon overlords deny any involvement, she and her tactical partner Zephryn Nightstalker try to investigate–and are sentenced to death.

Still searching for answers, Kesia and Zephryn flee to the human military capital, where Captain Shance Windkeeper has been furloughed after the destruction of his airship. Eager to discover what–and who–blew up his vessel, he agrees to help Kesia and Zephryn infiltrate High Command. In exchange, Kesia must pretend to be his betrothed so Shance can escape an arranged marriage. If only she knew what ‘betrothed’ and ‘arranged marriage’ meant.

But human social customs are the least of her worries. Dark secrets surface as Kesia delves deeper–secrets that challenge the facts of her crime and undermine the war itself. Less

Author Bio

Janeen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She writes quirky writing resources and speculative fiction with monsters, misfits, and mushy stuff. She’s also an experienced teacher, editor, and author coach, and the Fearless Leader (president) of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. A lifelong misfit, she believes different is beautiful and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her two websites: janeenippolito.com and writeinsideout.com