Reviews for Stowaway

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Space drama keeps finding 10-year-old Leo even though all he feels able to do is grieve. At first, Leo was excited when aliens called Aykari landed on Earth in 2044. It was all fun and games and faster-than-light travel until more aliens, called the Djarik, attacked, killing Leo’s mother. The Aykari recruited his astrophysicist father to live on a research vessel with Leo and his older brother, Gareth. Well-paced flashbacks fill in these blanks of Leo’s past while, in the present, he and Gareth live through another Djarik assault. The lizardlike Djarik take Leo’s father prisoner and strip the ship, leaving it vulnerable to passing pirates. Pirates, though, have fuel and communications, so Gareth tricks Leo into stowing away alone with some who show up so that he can get help. Terrified, asthmatic Leo grabs for his inhaler, and before long he’s meeting new aliens, humans, and robots; getting shot at; and finding out that maybe his father didn’t know absolutely everything about the universe. Plentiful references to pop-culture touchstones like Ziggy Stardust and Pokémon give this space opera a lived-in feel. Leo’s narration aches with pathos but also provides moments of humor and finally ends on a cliffhanger. The alien main character simultaneously resembles humans and is radically nonhuman in ways that are emotionally satisfying. Most of the human cast defaults to White; two characters are coded Black and Japanese, respectively. A heartfelt adventure. (Science fiction. 8-12) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Space drama keeps finding 10-year-old Leo even though all he feels able to do is grieve.At first, Leo was excited when aliens called Aykari landed on Earth in 2044. It was all fun and games and faster-than-light travel until more aliens, called the Djarik, attacked, killing Leos mother. The Aykari recruited his astrophysicist father to live on a research vessel with Leo and his older brother, Gareth. Well-paced flashbacks fill in these blanks of Leos past while, in the present, he and Gareth live through another Djarik assault. The lizardlike Djarik take Leos father prisoner and strip the ship, leaving it vulnerable to passing pirates. Pirates, though, have fuel and communications, so Gareth tricks Leo into stowing away alone with some who show up so that he can get help. Terrified, asthmatic Leo grabs for his inhaler, and before long hes meeting new aliens, humans, and robots; getting shot at; and finding out that maybe his father didnt know absolutely everything about the universe. Plentiful references to pop-culture touchstones like Ziggy Stardust and Pokmon give this space opera a lived-in feel. Leos narration aches with pathos but also provides moments of humor and finally ends on a cliffhanger. The alien main character simultaneously resembles humans and is radically nonhuman in ways that are emotionally satisfying. Most of the human cast defaults to White; two characters are coded Black and Japanese, respectively.A heartfelt adventure. (Science fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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