©2010 Wire Rim Books,
I first encountered Henry Melton’s Young Adult Science Fiction a couple of years ago with his sophomore outing for the “Small Towns, Big Ideas” series, Roswell or Bust, and I was hooked. Having not been a fan of SciFi, but a big fan of YA fiction, I approached the read with trepidation. After that book, I find myself waiting (sometimes impatiently) for his next book.
This latest offering is a slight departure from the “STBI” series in that it’s set—not in a small town—in the city of Austin, Texas, and the featured character is slightly older than his typically high school-aged hero. He addresses this discrepancy by creating a new series—“Home Planet Adventures.”
Now to the reading, Jenny Quinn is a budding physicist working on her graduate project dealing with a new substance identified simply as dark matter. An accident in transporting the dark matter results in her personal contamination with the stuff, and the death of her professor.
Losing her professor, her research, and her desire to continue her education in one fell swoop, Jenny finds herself on the run, trying to hide the fact that she now can fly. She finds unlikely friendship in a lone trucker and refuge among the Carnies of a traveling show. By the end of the story, she’ll have opportunity to bring to life her brother’s comic book heroes and discover the truth about her professor’s death.
Melton jumps directly into the action with the catastrophe involving a dark matter explosion, and keeps everything moving as Jenny finds a way to keep herself alive and moving while hiding her new ability from the public view. The author also gets a chance to give tribute to his own childhood infatuation with the comic book industry not only with the story line, but also by dividing the story into numbered “issues” representing each segment of the tale. If you like SciFi you’ll want to read this book; if you like comic books, it will be fun as well; if you’re a Henry Melton reader, you won’t want to miss this outing.
Four out of five reading glasses.