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Station Fosaan (Torch World) Paperback – February 14, 2017
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About the Author
Dee Garretson writes for many different age groups, from chapter books to middle grade to young adult to adult fiction, and in true writer fashion she has cat companions who oversee her daily word count. When she's not writing, she loves to travel, watch old movies, and attempt various kinds of drawing, painting and other artistic pursuits. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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I’m having a big problem trying to figure out whether or not the book handled colonialism sensitively. I think this is something that readers won’t really be able to decide upon until the whole series has been wrapped up. There are some conversations about how Earthers have negatively impacted Fosaanian society, seemingly exposing colonialism as a negative thing. However, the overall plot of this book on its own seems to reinforce a colonialist mindset, showing Fosaanian leaders as the “bad guys” and Earthers as people who are there to intervene and save the citizens. But while there were times that colonialism seemed to be justified, you definitely get the idea that there’s more to the story than the Earthers are told. If I’m correct, the story has potential to show the ways in which people are kind of brainwashed into thinking their society is colonizing others for the sake of the greater good while being kept in the dark as to their leaders’ real motivations and the actual impact they’re having on these societies they’re supposedly helping. Depending on how the topic is approached in subsequent books, this could either end up going very well or it could fall flat. Unfortunately, I think readers will just have to wait and see.
Aside from that, I have no major complaints or hesitations. The pacing could’ve been improved a little bit as there were some sections of the book that seemed to drag on while the ending was packed full of action, but there was still enough going on throughout the book that kept me interested.
One of the book’s strongest parts was the cast of characters. There are essentially 4 main characters. There are three Earthers, Quinn, Decker, and Lainie; and one Fosaanian, Mira. Quinn is the character most focused on, as the story is told from his point of view, but the other three have prominent roles. There was a lot to like about them. On their own, I don’t think any of the characters were that remarkable, but as a group, they were incredibly entertaining. The group dynamics between them made for some amusing banter as well as some more emotional scenes. It was pretty easy for me to become a bit attached to them and find myself rooting for them to succeed. None of them are perfect either; they all have their moments of being shown that they’re maybe being a bit unfair or ignorant and need to consider other perspectives before jumping to conclusions.
The world-building was a little underwhelming, but I did really like what we see of it. While I would’ve liked to get the chance to understand a bit more of the history between Fosaan and Earth, I suspect the rest of the series will flesh that out a bit more. I thought Garretson did a great job of including technology into this sci-fi world of hers because although it’s obviously more advanced than the technology we have in our modern world, it didn’t seem too far-fetched or impossible based on technology we have now (well, maybe except for travelling to other planets/galaxies). I love when sci-fi novels do that because it makes it a bit more believable and realistic to me (and yes, I understand that it’s a bit weird to be praising sci-fi for being realistic and believable…).
Like I said at the start of this review, I have some mixed thoughts on Station Fosaan. The best part of the book, at least for me, was reading the interactions between the different characters and seeing their relationships evolve. I think I’ll have to read more of the series to really solidify my thoughts on the first installment, though it’s managed to capture my interest and make me want to read more, so Garretson definitely deserves some credit for that. If you like sci-fi and/or character-driven novels, Station Fosaan might be worth taking a look at.
I volunteered to receive a copy of the book to honestly review.
Quinn Neen finds that the planet of Fosaan is a far cry than the tropical paradise the scientists and their families expected. The planet's dangerous terrain is in step with the horrible sulfur smell. Sixteen-year-old Quinn hardly notices as he is more interested in ignoring the rules and wandering off to study the planet's animals
As if the rule of staying inside the Earther's settlements wasn't hard enough to follow, Quinn's coincidental encounter with a Fosaanian girl named Mira in his family's kitchen stealing food leaves him breaking another rule of non-engagement with the people of Fosaan. Quinn encourages Mira to stay by giving her food and whatever else she needs for her sister. Before he can get to know her better the scientists, who are in orbit in their labs, are taken captive leaving the teens and the younger children alone on the planet with no communication to deal with the problem. To top it off, the Fosaanians accuse the Earthers of intentionally setting of the volcanoes that wrecked havoc on their planet nearly three hundred years ago.
Not only does Quinn have to convince Mira to trust him, he must convince the teens and children to work together to overpower the space raiders who want to destroy them. Plenty of action and great characters blend to create a solid young adult sci-fi novel. A talking parrot adds some humor to the dialogue that naturally flows well. Author Dee Garretson successfully uses description to build a world easy to visualize for teens and tweens.
Unfortunately, there’s no time for the teens to get to know one another before the planet’s thrown into crisis. The scientists are all in orbit in the labs, the kids are alone on the planet, and communications are down. Something is very wrong and it’s going to be up to Quinn and his new friend to lead the way to a solution.
In Station Fosaan, Dee Garretson has given reader an engrossing book with appealing characters. They’re typical teens in a very atypical setting. Station Fosaan has enough potential romance to appeal to the romantically inclined and enough danger and action to appeal to the most seasoned gamer. Plus, for readers that like to stick with their favorite characters for a while, this is the first book in the Torch World series, so we haven’t seen the last of Quinn and Mira. Stay tuned!