Earth Aliens #1: The Expedition

Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: S.E. Wendel
Publisher: Epic Press
Year: 2016
ISBN: 9781680760224
Pages: 208

Hugh and his twin brother Rhys have been granted passage on a starship to a new planet called Terra Nova. Hugh gets to be an apprentice to an engineer during the seven year journey, but Rhys is put into cryo-tube to sleep the entire journey. As Hugh is dealing with the loss of his brother and learning the ropes of taking care of the engines he meets Elena. On the planet Terra Nova, a young Charneki becomes the ruler of them all. Zeneba, the ruler, is having to learn how to be a leader when she is very young. As she's preparing to be crowned, she learns that some unknown disaster is going to happen during her rule. Seven years later, Rhys is finally awoken, only to have Hugh find out he hasn't aged a day. He's still eleven years old and they are landing on Terra Nova to a whole new world. At Zeneba's crowning, four stars fall from the sky and cause chaos. She doesn't know what to do except that she must protect her people.

Wendel brings you into a world of wonder and new experiences. The author does a good job of describing Hugh's experiences through his eleven-year-old perspective. Everything is so new and foreign, he often feels lost and unable to perform his tasks at first, but as he ages and matures he becomes more comfortable and at ease with living in a ship of metal. Even as he describes his feelings about other teenagers his age, you can see the difficulty he feels of living in such a small space with so many people. You get to know others on the ship and how some are excited and happy for new things, while others are more contemplative and serious about what life will be like now. You can feel the loss and devastation Hugh feels about Rhys not aging along with him. Hugh's isolation and loss is palpable. Wendel creates a sense of extraterrestrial life with a new language and names for things in the new world. There is not a lot of description about different animals and landscapes on Terra Nova, but maybe there will be more when you see the world through Hughs' eyes; a human's eyes in the next book. A great, quick read for anyone looking for something different. 

*Contains mild language and mild violence