Lost Coast Rocket by Joel Horn
Genre: Currently #14083 in Best Sellers Rank for Kindle Store, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, LLC
Publication Date: July, 2016
Submitted by author for review
Lost Coast Rocket – Cover and title conveys subject; Cover girl hints youthful age of characters
The debut novel, Lost Coast Rocket by Joel Horn, is classified as sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult; though it reads with such authority you’d swear is a non-fiction on rocketry that merely involves a story. Thank heaven we are introduced to the protagonist and “his team” as young children, albeit geniuses, as the subject of rocketry would otherwise have been well over my head. As is, it was broken down into easily understandable snippets of believable dialogue between kids. And kids, as well as young or old adults would enjoy this easy introduction into a fascinating subject.
Rockets 101 begins simply enough with protagonist Ken at a young age and by the time he and his childhood friend, Akira, have aged somewhat, the rockets are more sophisticated, and you are well on your way to being able to comprehend what is going on. Ken is involved in a traumatic event along with a little girl his age and her mother early in the story. Dawn manages to show up after he and his team have begun to develop their projects and becomes part of the team. Ken, however, can’t reconcile the experience involving her, or forgive his part, which totally screws up the relationship with Dawn.
Ken, whose father left the family early, has a professional mother gone more often than home, so virtually has an autonomous life. His grandfather had been a NASA engineer and left him the materials that fire his dream. The rest of his crew, along with Akira (also a major genius) have normal restrictions of family, though each have their particular expertise that manages the whole of the project and quickly progress from simple models to large-scale rockets. These begin to push the edge of legality.
The dialogue manages to progress well from childhood to teen years, and child prodigies or no, much of their conversation feels natural and familiar. The relationship between Ken and his mother seems a little less than loving and he is strained or cautiously emotive with most of his team with the exception of Akira with whom he shares his secret regarding Dawn.
This is a rather unique plot and an exciting read. The imagination has to be stretched somewhat to imagine kids could produce work of his magnitude, but it seems apparent they are in the right place at the right time with parents who have money sufficient to support their ambitions.
The climax draws to probably the only conclusion that makes sense since Ken becomes a person of interest with the authorities. We aren’t talking fairy-tale here, though there again, you’ll have to suspend some disbelief with his escape. Recommended reading in a subject you’ll be happy to learn more about!
Author description: Joel Horn was moved to the Trinity Alps when very young and of necessity had to learn survival techniques in the remote wilderness of Northern California. He and his brothers were educated by their dad and hands-on experience and achieved a high level of self-sufficiency. This novel serves as #1 of the Mare Tranquillitatis series. The story will continue in #2 of the series, Hatching the Phoenix Egg. ©2016 Virginia Williams
Rosepoint rating: Five of five stars