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WesternSFA
The Planet Thieves
by Dan Krokos
Starscape, $9.99, 256pp
Publication Date: September 9, 2014
The Planet Thieves is the first in Dan Krokos’ new YA series and is followed by The Black Stars (Click here for review)which came out in October of this year,

Mason Stark is a young cadet in the Earth Space Command. Along with 17 other cadets ranging in age from seven to thirteen, he is on the spaceship SS Egypt for their two-week required space time for that semester. But, of course, things don’t go as planned.

When Mason sneaks onto the bridge to play a trick on his sister, Lt. Commander Susan Stark, he doesn’t expect to witness the beginnings of an attack on the SS Egypt by Earth’s sworn enemies, the Tremist. While things had been calm for years in the century-old war, now things are heating up as both humans and Tremist want the planet Nori-Blue, the first planet either side has found capable of supporting their life.

Through a series of fast-paced events, Mason and the cadets find themselves the only ones left uncaptured by the enemy.  As Mason and his friends, Tom and Merrin, try to retake the ship they learn more about the mysterious Tremist, an ultra secret weapon that was on board the SS Egypt and ultimately find there is an enemy much more dangerous to them all than the Tremist.

This is a fast-paced read suitable for tweens to adults. The cadets are quite capable as they are thrust into adult responsibilities but not unbelievable so as they have been trained since early age to take their place in the ESC; and, realistically, when events of this adventure are over the kids go back to school for their fall semester. Parents of girls will be happy that the female cadets and officers are treated no differently than their male counterparts, indeed there are several times when Merrin take the lead as the one most qualified.

Dan Krokos is a wonderful voice in YA literature, so far all of his books have been optioned for film or TV. At only 26 we will, luckily, have years more of this talented author’s work to enjoy. Highly recommended. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

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