SYNOPSIS: This Box Set includes all four volumes of the Star Trails Tetralogy as well as the Star Trails Compendium which includes a glossary of terms and definitions, and detailed information about the Cyrarian planetary system, its weather, political structure and indigenous people. As a bonus, it also includes a section with discussion ideas and lesson plan suggestions specifically for educators who may want to use this hard science fiction series to stimulate interest in physics and engineering.
Beyond the Hidden Sky (Volume I)
Laren Brightstar knew refusing to work for Augustus Troy would make him a target. Being reassigned to the chief terralogist position for Cyraria, a planet on the other side of the galaxy, seemed the perfect solution. Getting there, however, isn’t. Not with a teenage daughter like Creena.
She’s a rebel.
And now she’s missing.
In deep space.
Was it an accident? Or abduction?
Either way, he has to find her. Before Troy does. And somehow he knows life will never be simple again as increasingly suspicious circumstances scatter his family across the galaxy, each wondering if they’ll survive long enough to be reunited ever again.
A Dark of Endless Days (Volume II)
Cyraria’s lethal weather extremes challenge Laren’s engineering skills to the max, but his family will perish unless he can build a heat exchanger (air conditioner) to keep their meager ballome at livable temperatures during Opposition. Before its completion, however, old debts come due, leaving his son, Dirck, to complete the task. But how can he possibly do so with no money and limited engineering know-how?
Meanwhile, Creena’s situation isn’t much better. Her attempt to return to Mira III for help as directed by her father is foiled when the planet on which they expect to find starship passage not only can’t help but confiscates their ship. Will she remain trapped forever on a backward and alien world called Earth where she’s being pursued by mysterious and hostile forces?
A Psilent Place Below (Volume III)
Taking refuge in Cyraria’s network of caverns to survive Opposition, Dirck and his mother share a cryptic dream that promises death or worse for his imprisoned father unless immediate action is taken. Will the daring and potentially lethal rescue Dirck and his friend, Win, fabricate succeed or will Laren be lost forever?
The planet’s political turmoil increases as the Integrator pursues planetary domination through devious and aggressive means. The formation of an opposition group to fight these hostile actions delivers heavy consequences while additional threats to the Brightstar family at a more personal level arise in the form of cultural clashes between Mira III and Esheron. Creena’s return partially reunites the family at last, but ongoing disagreements with her brother distract them from issues that have even more dire consequences.
Refractions of Frozen Time (Volume IV)
Creena and her little brother, Deven, believe the cavern’s crystals can reunite their family at last, including bringing back their father who’s on a prison ship heading for permanent exile. Before she can unlock their secrets, however, Integrator forces find their underground hideout, forcing a harrowing escape loaded with unexpected consequences. The lonely days that follow change Dirck forever while also revealing what drives the crystals’ ability to manipulate time.
Meanwhile, Laren has discovered the ship’s dirty little secret which he hopes to exploit while back on Cyraria, his long-time nemesis, Augustus Troy, not only gains more power than ever before but acquires a weapon capable of wiping out anyone opposed to his despotic goals.
Do the Brightstars have what it takes to survive their final confrontation with the Integrator and his evil proponents? Or will the family’s longed-for reunion take place in another dimension of time and space? Find out in this suspense-laden conclusion to the Star Trails Tetralo
REVIEW: I like Sci-Fiction that includes some actual science whether that consists of facts or a mixture of well-known to lesser known theories; it makes for a more interesting read beyond simple space fantasy where anything goes. Martha Fox’s Star Trails Tetralogy does just that with a very well-developed story-lines and strong characters. Her specialisation in physics is evident throughout her writing.While this set of books is geared more towards YA and younger folk, it is better suited for those who are more studious young sci-fi enthusiasts.
The other nice thing about this collection is that all the books are pretty much consistent in level of readership, not one book is superior to the other and for me that shows great strength as a writer. Usually you find the second book in a series weaker than the first, the third a little better and so on. But with these it’s like the story simply goes on with a nice level of consistency throughout.
The reason for four stars rather than five is the oversized descriptions and slowness of pace in places, and overall lack of action throughout the series.