Children of the Stars by K AtenChildren of the Stars by K Aten is a high-flying superhero/sci-fi adventure novel that will warm your heart while simultaneously keeping you laughing and gripping the edges of your seat.

Humans are not alone. They are however, kept fairly ignorant of that fact by the government and the powerful aliens that seek to protect the Earth from the more violent species of the universe. However, some humans are in on the secret. When an alien ship crashes in the Nevada desert, secret genetic experiments are conducted resulting in hybrid humans known as Chromodecs. With vast and varying powers, these beings are capable of practically anything, causing the rest of humanity to fear and mistrust them. In order to quell the panic of the population, the government has created the CORP (Chromodec Office of Restraint and Protection) which not only keeps track of the Chromodecs, but also uses them to police one another and maintain order and control. But not all of the Chromodecs are upstanding citizens.

Speaking of aliens…this story also involves Amari Losira Del Rey and Zendara Inyri Baen-Tor, two baby princesses of warring planets and bonded soulmates. Before they are destroyed in the ageless war between their worlds, their parents flee and manage to send the pair safely to Earth before their ship is destroyed. On Earth, they grow up apart, oblivious to their true identities and each with a vast emptiness in their heart. But destiny, like nature, always finds a way and when they finally discover each other, they also discover the powers that they possess.

When evil forces try to overtake the CORP, and ultimately the planet, the good Chromodecs are going to need all the help they can get. Will Amari and Zendara take a stand with them to protect the humans that have protected them for so long?

The Characters

Michelle: There are A LOT of characters in this book. Aten has done some incredible work in developing the concept of the Chromodecs, their different powers and personalities, as well as how they have established themselves in society. I also really enjoyed seeing how their role in society evolves as events unfold. The villain is a worthy adversary and has an excellent back story and motivations. But where Aten really excels is the connection she develops between Amari and Zendara. It is perfect, believable and bubbling with chemistry.

Miranda: The Chromodecs and their varied powers really grabbed my interest. Aten’s imagination is on display as she introduces characters with the ability to teleport, use magnetism, employ sonic screams, and more. Of the two leads, Zendara is the more complex and engaging character, and I enjoyed watching her development as the story progressed.

The Writing Style

Michelle: The book is written in third person perspective for the most part. However, it also includes first person narration that is reminiscent of William Dozier’s narrative excerpts in the original Batman television series. It has the same tongue-in-cheek feel and adds much humour to the story with its campy superhero atmosphere. There is a boatload of action, fabulous characterization and a beautiful romance. The pacing is a little inconsistent and there are some areas where more focus is needed, but the story overall is humourous and exciting.

Miranda: I couldn’t agree more! The sections of first person narration transported me back to a childhood spent reading comic books and watching Batman cartoons. Like those old-school superhero stories, Aten sticks to “good” vs. “bad” characters in this story.

The Pros

Michelle: The characters are phenomenal. I think my favourite aspect of the story is the villain. I love his back story and megalomaniacal plot. I would have loved to have seen much much more of Oracle.

Miranda: The variety of characters was definitely a highlight. Aten also emphasizes that heroism is not innate – it is a choice. I kept thinking about that point long after I finished the book.

The Cons

Michelle: I felt that while the story was a little slow in some parts, it felt rushed in others. Particularly when it came to the final battle scene which I felt was over too easily and too quickly.

Miranda: Michelle, I agree with you. I also felt like the book suffered a bit of an identity crisis between a PG-13 superhero story and an adult romance. In my mind, the book could have been edited slightly to fit solidly in the YA category.

The Conclusion

Michelle: If you enjoy X-Men, Superman/Supergirl, Species, and Batman (1960’s TV show Batman that is) and wonder what they would look like all mashed into one story, then you should definitely give this book a read.

Miranda: Absolutely! This one was a great escape.

Excerpt from Children of the Stars by K Aten

“We should have saved them.”

The taller woman gently stroked the white blonde hair of Zendara Inyri Baen-Tor. “We saved their daughter.”

“And ours.” Denii smiled and ran gentle fingers through the dark hair of the other babe, Amari Losira Del Rey. She was the royal heir of the planet Reyna and counterpart to the baby at her side, heir to the planet Tora. After a few minutes of silence, Denii moved her hand to stroke the soft skin where the babies’ fists clung to one another. “They’ve already bonded. I did not expect it so soon.”

It was Selphan’s turn to sigh then. “It was written in the filtered rose light of Q’orre that the babes of our two houses would be destined for each other. They are Q’sirrahna. Had we not saved the child of Tora, our own daughter would have been bereft, empty of heart and soul her entire life. She would have languished. They are stronger together, and nothing short of death can keep them from finding one another.”

“Perhaps together they could have saved our worlds.”

Selphan shook her head. “No. Nothing could have saved our worlds. The light of our sun Q’orre has shone down upon a war that is older than our two houses. The war is too old and too profitable to end without a clear victor. No peace or alliance could have been forged without a mutiny of the ruling elites, as we clearly bore witness to. They made their money on the deaths of the common people. I mourn for them all. I weep each night for the people of our house and home.”

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-1619294325
Publisher: Regal Crest
K Aten Online

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