cover image Light-Years from Home

Light-Years from Home

Michaelbrent Collings. Written Insomnia, $21.99 (350p) ISBN 978-1-958628-02-7

A teen and his friends are abducted by aliens in this suspenseful interstellar novel by Collings. While hiking through Muir Woods searching for samples for an upcoming science lab project, high schoolers Max, his crush Leya, his best friend Noah, and Max’s eight-year-old sister Chloe are accidentally kidnapped by a trio of startled extraterrestrials. The culprits include Click—a being that resembles a “tree/blob/glow/video-game-ghost-with-three-toed-feet”—and Click’s compatriots, who transport the quartet onto a Celestian spacecraft light-years from Earth. Chloe immediately befriends Click, who reveals that they were on Earth seeking a new home away from the Gro’nid, an alien species intent on destroying the Celestians’ home world. Before Click can return the group to Earth, however, the Gro’nid attack their ship, catapulting the gang into an intergalactic war. Max’s frenetic first-person perspective bounces between his need to protect his younger sister and his massive, unwieldy crush on Leya, occasionally stifling momentum and narrative cohesion. Nevertheless, Chloe and Click’s innocent, blossoming friendship injects scenes of hope and kindness into this action-packed adventure. Human characters read as white. Ages 12–up. (Self-published)