“The thing was, she had no idea how to move on from here. She had no clue how to proceed with the rest of her life. The void that was left in her heart was an expanse the size of a canyon, and Erin knew that there was never going to be anything that could possibly fill that gaping wound.”
-Excerpt from Stardusters by Megan Morris
Stardusters is the first YA Sci-fi novel in a planned series by new Houston author, Megan Morris. It’s the story of a teen named Erin, a softball star and only child, whose mother is murdered. The loss is hard on her. Life gets even more complicated when she picks up a strange rock left at the scene of the crime and takes it home. The rock is made of star dust and causes strange things to happen to Erin. Soon she is introduced to someone who has been sent to guide her to a whole new world, the world of dusting. Her guide, a handsome young man named Jay, teaches her what Stardusters do and informs her that there is more to the world than she ever imagined. It’s the Stardusters job to protect worlds from rogue visitors who use star dust without authorization, possibly for nefarious reasons. Erin dives into her new responsibility with gusto, partly to escape her grief and partly to impress her handsome mentor. Eventually, Erin discovers information about her mother’s murder that pushes her to make some tough choices. Book One of this new series ends with a cliffhanger and an invitation to stay tuned for the next book—Wanderlust.
This author’s first novel succeeds in creating an interesting world (influenced by Doctor Who and other time-travel tales) and develops an intriguing plot line. The cover by Fiona Jayde Media is gorgeous. The characters are clearly described, relatable, and slightly complex. Erin’s intense grief is palpable and reads true, without turning cumbersome with over-description. The author successfully spreads out world-building information in digestible increments to avoid info-dumping. Conflicts keep the reader enticed and wanting to know more, especially though the blossoming romance, family secrets, and the hint of a conspiracy in the Stardusters leadership.
There are vast slews of commas missing randomly throughout the book, which is distracting; but overall, the grammar is acceptable. Some scenes in the story take place in present tense for a purpose, though their purpose is never explored in this volume. Also, the ending is abrupt, which makes Stardusters read poorly as a stand-alone novel. It doesn’t possess its own singular arc with a fulfilling conclusion and then offer clues for what readers should anticipate in the next adventure.
Fortunately there is more to come from this talented YA author!
Check out Megan Morris and Stardusters!