Seventeen-year-old Collin Frost, the kicker for the Lone Stars high school football team, was not enjoying the bus ride back to the school after a game that hadn’t gone so well. The ride was made worse for him when Bubba, the team’s defensive tackle, decided Collin should sit in the aisle instead of the seat next to him. That’s why when the bus pulled to a stop at a railway crossing in a small town in Middleton Texas, Collin didn’t actually see what the bus driver, the cheerleaders, and his teammates saw … a hovering, goliath-sized space ship.
And here the journey of the Lone Star Renegades begins. Abducted into the belly of a sim rover collector ship, sent from a distant galaxy, the Lone Stars must find a way to survive long enough to escape their deathly confines. When that escape finally does come, the teenagers find themselves twenty-three light years from Earth and smack dap in the middle of an interstellar war. Young and irreverent, the Lone Stars must bargain with the Brotherhood forces for passage back to Earth—a bargain that would require them to complete a military basic training program and inevitably have them fight against Brotherhood’s enemies for the duration of one year.
I would say that this is a decent enough young adult book. At least I am assuming that the target audience is the young adult segment. If not then the author missed his mark by quite a margin. It is a quite nice adventure story about a young man with more brainpower than muscle power and his “friends” with more muscle power than brainpower who, somewhat involuntarily, ventures out in space to discover a whole new reality. It is the kind of story I like.
Do not expect any hard science, elaborate story or deep characters from this book. It is a classical teenage adventure with some thrill, some romance and a fair bit of action. It is a decent enough story which is quite fun to read. There are huge holes in it though. The author ought to read up about airplanes before writing about them for instance. Most of the stuff about the Boeing 777 was just rubbish. And what about being able to talk to wolf-like aliens at first sight but then they needed translator devices to talk to the humanoids they encounter later on?
One of the main aspects of the story (minor spoiler ahead) is the fact that the humans are different, as in stronger, than most aliens around. Not invulnerable but definitely ass-kicking-like stronger. I liked this part of the story. It is the same concept as in T.R. Harris’ series The Human Chronicles but in a young adult version. Unfortunately the concept is not very developed in the book and most of the time Collin & Co are running around with inhibitors that limits their strength.
As a whole it was a enjoyable book. Not fantastic but worth the time spent reading it. Will I pick up the next one in the series if one comes out? Probably yes. It was good enough for me to want to know how things develop and how the series evolve.