Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Daniel Coldstar: The Relic War
Illustrator: Stel Pavlou
None of the boys slaving away truly remember their lives before the relic mine. Daniel Coldstar, however, is determined to get out. With the help of a relic, Daniel makes his way up to the world’s surface and out into space. He makes friends with Hex, an anatom, and Truth Seekers Ionica and Ben. The Truth Seekers are a powerful interstellar organization that tries to keep peace within and among the many different human-colonized worlds. With the help of the Truth Seekers, Daniel returns to rescue the other kids still trapped in the mines. There, he finds that those he once called friends have joined up with their former captor. Unable to fight the other children, Daniel and his friends retreat and get ready to fight another day.
The book’s strengths include unique settings and cultures created by the author. The questions raised about truth and lies and their uses allow readers to consider deep moral issues within the interesting science fiction universe of the book. Unfortunately, the weaknesses are also very apparent and make it harder for a reader to have a deep connection with the book. The book lacks fluidity, moving from one action scene to the next without much explanation. There is also not much development of the main character. The reader makes it to the end still having many more questions than answers. The ending, although leaving the reader with hope for the next book, does not solve the problems presented in the first. This can make the series as a whole more interesting, but makes the story in The Relic War feel rather incomplete.
*Contains mild violence.