“Twelve-year-old Girl from New Brunswick Saves Earth”
So the headline would read if newspapers still exist in some format in the near-to-middle future where Journey to the Hopewell Star takes place. Interplanetary space travel exists, as well as the realization that there are other inhabitants of the universe, such as the Krygians, who have been monitoring Earth for some time but are becoming increasingly concerned about environmental injustices that continue to eradicate species at an alarming rate.
Sam Sanderson is the twelve-year-old in question. She is currently living with her Grandfather while her parents, both respected scientists, are away on some kind of important space mission. The Earth part of the story takes place in New Brunswick and begins on her Grandfather’s farm on a stormy winter night when Sam meets up with Boj (pronounced Bosh) a Krygian messenger whose ship was knocked out by the storm and he ends up in the barn, injured. He wasn’t supposed to make himself known, just drop off a parcel from Sam’s parents and return home. At this encounter, Sam learns of the Krygians, and how their planet is in trouble, as their star is quickly losing energy. She is also given a ‘klug’ a small baseball-sized object that allows for travelling through wormholes. She and Boj use it to get him back to Kryg, and from there, Sam learns that she is the possible fulfillment of a Krygian legend, and she is crowned Queen. This all happens in the first few chapters, so you know you are in for a great read when a fantastic story like this unfolds.
For a debut novel, Journey to the Hopewell Star is an ambitious one, and I hope it leads to sequels. As a Young Adult (YA) novel, it held my interest throughout and the plot had enough threads to untangle to keep me turning pages. The story never felt contrived and as it deals with very real issues such as personal identity, interconnectedness and the despoiling of Earth and it’s resources, it’s a relevant read. To its credit, the book is not centred on technology, war or violence. It is about friendships, standing up to bullying and believing in yourself. In the following excerpt, Onnisa, a Krygian Elder, reveals to Sam:
“We are not always attuned to our inner voices. Sometimes we only listen to the voice that questions things and casts self-doubt. But you listened to your true voice, the one you needed to hear the most to help you at the time. Your voice is powerful, and you have much to offer. Be patient with yourself, trust your inner voice, and you’ll find that your voice, your intentions, your ideas, and your dreams may travel far, and will spark a light in others while serving as a guiding light for yourself at the darkest of times. After all, if you do not trust in your own voice, who will?”
Exceptional advice for a young person. If you have a young reader at home, Journey to the Hopewell Star will surely appeal to them. Five stars for a fine debut novel!
About the author: You can read an interview with Hannah D. State here.
- Paperback : 212 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1777254209
- ISBN-10 : 1777254205
- Publisher : Glowing Light Press (July 31 2020)
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