The book is written in such a way that it does not get tedious for either adults or teens.
There were numerous tall tales about the lands beyond the Reach, and Moth heard the wildest of them from Leroux. At first, Moth had been expecially fascinated by Leroux's stories of the Skylords, but at the grown-up age of thirteen, Moth was becoming increasingly skeptical about the existence of these mysterious, powerful and frightening beings from beyond the Reach. And protecting Lady Esme would mean venturing into the forbidden Reach with his best friend Fiona, to find dragons, battle Skylords, and discover the secret hidden within the kestrel herself. While the plot and characters are original, Starfinder, for me, had the feel of so many of my favorite worlds and authors and characters: Narnia, Neverland, Naussica of the Valley of the Wind, Anne McCaffrey, Lewis Carroll, Howl's Moving Castle, Xena - to name a few. There's a great deal of affection - parental love, friendship - without romance playing much of a role in this book (other than, for example, a husband-wife who are obviously fond of each other.) Whatever the emotions, Marco elicits them organically, without resorting to cliches for loss or joy or anger or exhilaration. Starfinder would make a great present for boys around ages 12 to 14 who like to read, or for reluctant boy readers ages 12 to 18.
Even though Moth has managed to find work at the aerodrome and has gotten to know some of the pilots, it seems his dream is out of reach Until, that is, Leroux, the old man Moth lives with, gives Moth a peculiar birthday present As a rule, I dont really read YA novels; Im so hooked on the Eriksons and Martins and Jordans of writing, those who write big, huge, massive bold stories, that Im always scared that Ill be disappointed, so I rather stay away; but when an author known for writing excellent Epic Fantasy ventures into YA, well, that piques my interest, and Im glad to say that Starfinder did not disappoint me at all! :-) John also plays with our expectations, giving us characters that seem, on the surface, to be exactly who they are, but then surprise us with who they really are!
Years ago, I discovered a fantasy debut novel by the author John Marco, a novel by the name of the Jackal of Nar. Nice and gritty military fantasy that I liked enough to email the author about. Starfinder, aimed at a YA audience (although perfectly enjoyable by adults) is the story of Moth and Fiona. He's an orphan, the ward of an old knight, and dreams of flying in the skies even as he hears Leroux's stories of the Skylords, Faerie beyond a misty reach that laps against their mountain city home. Part steampunk, Part YA, part borderland-of-Faerie novel, Starfinder is the sort of novel that adults will wish they had available to read when they were 12.
Thirteen year old Moth has worked at the Aerodrome for three years, he dreams of being a Skyknight himself but knows that those elite pilots come from the upper reaches of their society. He hurries home to the small apartment that he shares with Leroux, an old man who took Moth in when his mother died, and Leroux's strange pet, a bird named Esme. Leroux tells all sorts of strange tales but has saved the strangest one for this night, after Moth's birthday party. Leroux has never been able to do it, he charges Moth with returning Esme to the land beyond The Reach. It is a device from the land beyond the Reach called the Starfinder Moth hides from the Governor's men with the help of some friends, one of whom is Rendor's granddaughter, Fiona.
A superb companion to Moth, the two characters see the same things completely different because of their life experiences. I believe this story is Fionas just as much as it is Moths. From the characters to the world created by Marco I just wanted MORE MORE MORE! Being a fantasy novice myself, I think it was a wonderful novel for one to get their feet wet. I also believe that long time fantasy lovers will enjoy the simple yet fantastic story John Marco has wrote.
If you like reading fantasy then I'm sure you are going to love this book! Usually I can at least guess what is going to happen next in the plot of a book, but Starfinder was a pleasant surprise from beginning to end.
His friend left him with a mysterious gift and a mission that will forever change Moth's life. Moth's friend Fiona is only a year older. His search turns into a chase, and Moth and Fiona, along with Leroux's beautiful kestrel, Lady Esme, decide to brave the unknown in an effort to save themselves and grant Leroux's dying wish. Moth and Fiona are about to find out for themselves whether the stories are true. Both characters grow over the course of the novel, not quite as innocent by the end as when their story began. I had never read a fantasy novel that had flying machines before, and so this was a new experience for me. And although I may not always care for much in the way of YA fiction, I do enjoy those with fantasy themes more often than not (Harry Potter and the Farworld series come instantly to mind). In the case of Starfinder, it is a young adult novel and it reads for a younger audience; however, that never bothered me. I had a good time while reading the book. I love a good fantasy tale, and, while I enjoy long epics, it was nice to settle in with a fantasy novel that was a bit shorter, especially right now with everything else I have going on in my life.
Like a lot of fantasy fans, I'm a proud nerd and often blog about nerdy things over at my blog--thehappynerd.com.