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Reviewed by:
  • Daniel Coldstar: The Relic War by Stel Pavlou
  • Elizabeth Bush
Pavlou, Stel Daniel Coldstar: The Relic War. Harper/HarperCollins,
2017 [304p] (Daniel Coldstar)
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-06-212605-4 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-06-212607-8 $9.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 4-6

Daniel Coldstar awakens deep underground in the relic mines, and though he recognizes nobody, the other kids, or "grubs," remember him and are astonished that he's alive and back in their ranks. Blink, who claims to be an old buddy, takes Daniel under his wing and helps him return to the oppressive protocols of boring shafts through the ground and uncovering artifacts from some unknown past for their Overseers. Daniel, however, is starting to recall bits of his past and to rethink his future; when a mine accident affords him a chance at escape, he grabs it and ends up stowed away on board a massive cargo spaceship, protected and mentored by a robotic rat who shepherds him to the Guild of Truth. The Truth Seekers, galactic good guys, are first skeptical of Daniel and his wild story of memory loss and child slavery but eventually recognize that he has valuable information about galactic bad guys—the Sinjas—and will be key to saving everyone and everything worth saving. There's more than a touch of Star Wars sensibility here, from the snappy dialogue to the extraterrestrial and manufactured secondary characters to the training academy and its gung-ho adolescents. Rather than feeling cheaply derivative, though, the familiar tropes serve as an effective gateway through which to lure space-addicted middle-schoolers from movies into books. EB



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p. 173
Launched on MUSE
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