It’s a rare thing that I step outside of my comfort zone, but that’s exactly what I did this week with Sarah’s Spaceship Adventure by Stan Morris. I’ve read sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers, dystopian adventures, satires, and hundreds of combinations of others; I have not, however, ever read a space love story. Not just a space love story but one with a mix of action and adventure that keeps it interesting.
Morris starts his tale with a literal slap to the face that sets the tones for meeting 18 year old Sarah Talmaiz on a date with a rich young man on a space yacht. The young man turns violent in his attempt to bed the girl and there’s a bit of ‘cosmic justice’ as their ship is disabled. This is where we first meet Pall Swiftcar that rescues Sarah in an incredibly unconventional way that forces them both into an official union that marks them as ‘married’.
This ‘marriage’ becomes the focal point of many things as the story goes and more of the Hoop’s, the area where those that live in space dwell, rules and laws. It also becomes a huge internal debate for both characters, where one wants nothing more than to get home to her family, while the other, being 15, feels he is bound to his union.
Besides the ‘I love you, I don’t love you’ tug of war both characters battle with internally, externally their promise to each other is tested against just about everything you could imagine would be thrown at a space trader during an intergalactic voyage. Morris really runs the gambit with space pirates, cops and lawyers from Sarah’s home planet of Marl, angry trading partners, ship damage, and more as they travel from ‘rock to rock’.
The story develops nicely and really lends itself to Morris’ creativity. There are so many new ideas and thoughts that I haven’t seen in every sci-fi book. In particular, and I won’t give away what, are the ideas that come about with what’s important to a society. Some societies in reality value money and vanity, while others just try to survive. Some of us need the luxuries in life while others are just worried about the necessities; Sarah’s Spaceship Adventure does a good job, that’s on par with many professional’s novels, making you ask a question. In particular for this story the question is “What’s important to you and what would you do if you were thrown into a place where what you deemed important wasn’t important?”
Though this story does have a few glaring cons, there are more than enough pros to balance it out:
- Morris creates a new universe that I’ve never seen before. Besides the differences in the name of what would be considered Earth, everything from the space ship to each different space port brings a new backdrop and new adventure in itself.
- The main two characters truly develop a bond, and you can see it form and grow from mistrust to something more as the story progresses.
- The action, though there are only a few true action sequences, is spot on. The fights, some of which are in zero-gravity, are well choreographed and thought out.
There are some cons, though they don't take away from the story:
- At the beginning of the book Morris tells you about misspellings, and I don’t typically critique grammar but that gave me a sour taste from the beginning. (On a side note I didn’t pick up on any more than one truly misspelled word, and the grammar wasn’t bad at all)
- The story starts off a little slow and lumbering. After the first big ‘action’ sequence it takes a step back. The attempt at setting the mood for a distraught Sarah and a young, naïve Pall is there but it falls just slightly short of what it was intended. (This does pick back up and the lull only lasts a chapter or so)
- The ancillary characters, and if you’ve read my other reviews you know I’m a stickler for this, tend to speak the same way. What I mean by that is many of them, not all but the bulk, seem to have the same voice.
In the end Morris’ Sarah’s Spaceship Adventure gets a little bit of a mixed review from me. On one hand you have an entirely new, creative story that impresses me and shows the author’s imagination and willingness to ‘go there’; on the other hand the way the story flows is a bit choppy and there are times when even a ----------- break In between paragraphs would give it a much needed separation between the times that characters are acting when they’re not present with one another.
Overall I’m going to give Sarah’s Spaceship Adventure a 7/10 based on:
6/10 for readability- This shouldn’t be confused with how good the story is, this is the way the story flows alone. It does flow well, but there are several instances where the characters finish an interaction, leave each other and are doing to separate things but yet aren’t broken up so there is a difficulty in realizing who is talking until you finish the sentence and see who is speaking.
9/10 for story- Morris did a wonderful job creating something new and interesting. The world of Mackenzie’s Rock is one that holds endless possibilities and can continue into many creations for the author.
7/10 for characters- The two main characters are fantastic and truly feel like they’re their age, though the 15 year old Pall is worlds ahead from a maturity standpoint in a good way. Many of the main ancillary characters are the same way, wonderful creations that share their own voices. As I stated earlier many of the others seem to share one voice and speak too much like one another.
8/10 for span- The X-factor for this story really is the amount of distance and growth it spans throughout. The story moves millions of miles, and it feels like it. You can feel the story grow and become stronger as the characters experiences grow and they become stronger.
A big thank you to Stan Morris for reaching out to me with Sarah’s Spaceship Adventure, it’s a strong story and I enjoyed reading it. The thing I enjoy most about it is that I found an author that I’m going to be following from now on. As I stated in the last part of my review the story grew stronger and stronger, I’m sure Morris is going to be an author to read, just like Sarah’s Spaceship Adventure is a great story to read.
If you’d like to check out Sarah’s Spaceship Adventure for yourself click here.