This science fiction novel aimed at children over 10, starts slowly, seeming to focus more on the main character Cory's dislike at the way his life is changing, seeming almost a little whiney and annoying, but if you stick with it, the author starts to weave a good tale, full of rich detail and explanation. Any child with a love of science fictionand space will enjoy this book, at times it can seem a little stilted and perhaps some more editorial time would have really made this good book great.
Managing to combine personal relationships with a good old fashioned adventure and a bit 'world saving' or 'universe saving', Cory is thrust into a world of terrorists, bombs and threats when he accompanies his father and new, rather interesting step-mother to the Midway Space Station, where his father works, of course all does not go to plan, and it is up to Cory to try and save the day.
Either as a read alone for an older child, or as a read aloud, this book offers a rich world of science fiction adventure and trepidation. The author has specifically written the book so that adults will also enjoy the story whilst reading to their children and she has achieved this, within the book there is enough adult sub text for a parent reading to enjoy the time reading aloud.
About the author…..in her own words
"I am a writer of Science Fiction and Fantasy and have sold novels and short stories to publishers and professional magazines. I have a novel coming out next year and have sold to Analog Science Fiction and Fact. None of these are for children. The Far Horizon is an offshoot of my general fiction. I became interested in doing a project for children through reading an enormous number of books for my own children.
I am fortunate to live in the most beautiful city in the world: Sydney, Australia."
Where do you get your inspirations for your characters and storylines in your books?
"Everywhere. Newspapers, real life. Funnily enough, science books. Sometimes I don’t know where ideas come from. Many of the characters have been with me for a long time. The main character of The Far Horizon, Cory Wilson, is one of those characters. As an adult, he is the main character for my novel Ambassador that will be out from Ticonderoga Publications next year, and I thought it would be fun to show him as a kid, because he certainly doesn’t have a standard childhood."
What were your favourite books from your childhood?
"As a kid, I was pretty much the same kind of reader as I am now: I read mostly science fiction and fantasy. To be honest, I always read slightly esoteric stuff, and for most of the books, I remember snatches of scenes, but I’m terrible at remembering author names and titles. Children’s books which I think are very well-done are the Deltora series, and for slightly older girls, who can go past Anne of Green Gables. They’re just such timeless books.
I find a lot of children’s books date badly. I look back at some of them, and find them terribly patronising or reflecting times that have well and truly past. I can’t believe how racist some of those books are either."
What are the best thing and the worst thing about being a writer?
"Best thing: doing your own thing. I am so not an office monkey. Worst thing… is there a worst thing?"
Tell us a little bit about your books?
"When my kids were at primary school, I noticed that there was a lot of fantasy for late primary school-early secondary school audiences, but virtually no science fiction that wasn’t corny or attempted to be funny. So I decided to write some adventurous, space-opera type science fiction that both boys and girls would enjoy. At the time, I did a lot of reading aloud for my kids, too. Is there anyone else who can claim to have read the entire Harry Potter series aloud? We went through these and Narnia and the Deltora series, and Tamora Pierce for the girls. I noticed that some of the books had a higher level of concept behind them much in the way some of the Disney movies have this. You can enjoy a movie like the Incredibles on a very basic storytelling level, but if you’re a parent, you will appreciate the parenting messages. I actually love those messages in that movie, because they’re so subtle and understated and so poignant.
That was the feeling I was aiming for in this book. Something a kid would enjoy, but something that would also speak to the parent reading the book aloud.
The resulting story is a story about living in a space station, and about aliens, but it’s also a story about family and about honesty and standing up for what you believe in.
The Far Horizon is on Amazon in the Select program and the Kindle Owners Lending Library."