Title: Pyra and the Tektites (volume 1)
Author: Story by Tyree Campbell; illustrations by 7ARS
Ages: For readers 10 and older. Excellent selection for reluctant readers: story will pull them in and keep them reading.
Giveaway details: 1.) leave a comment, along with your email address, on this post by March 20 OR 2.) subscribe to Word Crushes by March 20 (current subscribers are automatically entered). A copy of the 12th issue of Crow Toes Quarterly (see my post) will also be given away. A winner will be chosen at random with the help of Random.org. And be sure to visit the other Lucky Lepechaun participants.
From the publisher: Thirteen-year-old Pyra lives and goes to school on Ceres, the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt. Because she has received a couple of bad grades, she fears her parents may send her down to Mars to continue her education. Pyra, however, has other ideas. She runs away from home. She stows away aboard a cargo shuttle, falls asleep, and awakens in free fall. The shuttle has been stolen by a smuggler, and she is now in outer space.
Review: So begins this exciting graphic novel. Readers will not only cheer for the brave young heroine but will also want to join Pyra on her adventures.
Pyra and the smuggler Flanagan–a touch of Han Solo with a zig-zag scar on his cheek–fall into a testy friendship. He teases her, yet she brings out a protective side of his personality. Pyra finds herself confronting fear, pitching in when blasts from an energy weapon threaten their lives. Danger, however, never leaves them alone, and Tektites eventually capture Pyra and Flanagan. They end up in Kublukan, where a mysterious woman tries to buy Pyra.
In a world created with precise details–complicated yet believable–author Tyree Campbell takes readers on a wild ride to the future. Characters with names like Mr. Block and Lay By come alive through 7ARS’ illustrations. Pyra’s pert bob and mischevously-tilted eyes reflect her personality to perfection. Each character is subtly revealed through the drawings–Mr. Block’s bald head gleams and Lay By furrows his unibrow.
Bottomline: Pyra is recommended for all readers who like fast-paced stories with strong drawings. It’s the first volume of her adventures and ends on a cliff hanger which leaves readers looking forward to the next installment.
And there’s more: Serialized Pyra adventures can also be found in Sam’s Dot Publishing’s Beyond Centauri (a science fiction and fantasy magazine for all ages.)