The Black Stars
by Dan Krokos
Starscape, $17.99, 304pp
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
The second book in Dan Krokos’ YA series starts six months after the events of The Planet Thieves (click here for review) which saw Earth and Tremist sign a treaty to stop their war while they face a greater common enemy. Mason Stark is having problems at Academy II and has already collected almost enough disciplinary actions to be expelled when he and his friend Tom Renner are called to the office by Grand Admiral Shabazian. Even with the treaty there are still tensions and suspicions on both sides so Mason and Tom are being sent to the Tremist world to study, and to find out if the Tremist are developing a weapon to use against the humans.
Arriving at the Rhadgast school, the Tremist version of ESC’s soldier training academies, Mason and Tom start their training and join the search for the gloves of the Uniter, a Tremist hero from long ago who united the two warring sides of the Rhadgast. Naturally, Mason finds the gloves and becomes the central figure in the adventure to come as human and Tremist face a serious threat from their common enemy, the Fangborn. Along the way Mason solves a mystery about his dead parents, is reunited with the rest of his team, Merrin Stollen and Jeremy, as well as forming a new team with his Rhadgast schoolmates and forging the two into one team.
There is mystery and action and personal growth. This book centers much more on Mason alone than the previous book but in terms of teamwork - the girls, human or Tremist, are always treated as the equals of the boys making this a good series for kids of all ages and all genders. Obviously a third book, or more, is planned since we end on a definite cliffhanger. Highly Recommended. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon