Book Review: Lost Coast Rocket (Mare Tranquillitatis: Book 1) by Joel Horn

Lost Coast Rocket (Mare Tranquillitatis #1)

Title: Lost Coast Rocket

Author: Joel Horn

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Date of publication: September 2016 (per Goodreads)

Genre: Science Fiction

Number of pages: 259

Series: Mare Tranquillitatis

Lost Coast Rocket – Book 1

Hatching the Phoenix Egg – Book 2

POV: 3rd person

Standalone: Yes

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

Plausible Science Fiction, Adventure, Mystery, Love, Danger…

This story has it all!

Rockets are in Ken’s DNA. At an early age, he develops a friendship with Akira, a boy who shares his passion for astronautics. While both are child prodigies, Akira does well in private school but Ken rebels against structured education. The unlikely duo draws together a small group of rocketeers, meeting in the shop behind Ken’s house.

A tragic event at eight years of age haunts Ken through his growing-up years and shapes his destiny. As fate would have it, the girl at the center of the traumatic experience joins Ken’s rocket club, unaware of their shared history. Will Ken tell Dawn that he is the boy she seeks?

As the group reaches their teen years, their rocket designs start pushing legal boundaries, culminating in an event that puts them in the crosshairs of a FBI investigator. To protect his friends and seek refuge from his past, Ken devises an escape plan that confounds the authorities and the world.

My review:

This book was totally not what I expected. I really thought it was going to be some sort of action packed thriller/suspense by reading the blurb (note to self, stop assuming things about books based on that!!!). Instead, this was a wonderfully written, coming of age (and beyond) with a hint of romance and some science fiction thrown in book. It was a wonderful surprise!!!

Even the talk on rockets (and launching them) were interesting. I will be the first person to admit that I find rockets very boring. Actually, anything to do with science, I find very boring. To be honest, I don’t know how I made it to Physics (which is probably the only science I am even remotely interested in) class in HS, many moons ago….lol. But the way that the author described building the rockets from scratch and the different things that go into them, really caught my attention and interest. To the point where I might go and get Z (and maybe B if she’s interested) a build a small rocket kit and let him got with it. He loves stuff like that.

I did have a little bit of an issue with the author jumping back in time. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely added to the story (Grandpa Arnold was my favorite) and the author did a great job separating past from present. I just got a little turned around at the beginning of the book.

I absolutely loved Ken, Akira, Carol, Kate, Jose, Ed and later Dawn. They were a motley crew but they had each other’s backs. I loved that it showed girls taking an interest in building rockets (Carol actually welded parts of the rocket on). It was refreshing to read a book like this that girls (and women) were interested careers (astrophysics, pilot) that are typically male based.

I did want to kinda smack Ken upside the head a couple of times. He was so stubborn about revealing things (and feelings) to Dawn. I can understand him not wanting Dawn to know who he was (not going into it….read the book) but I can’t understand him not coming clean to her about his feelings sooner. Sigh…men.

The end of the book did end on a little bit of a cliffhanger but it set up for the 2nd book perfectly.

How many stars will I give Lost Coast Rocket? 4

Why: A great, wonderfully written book. Like I said above, I just got a little turned around by going back to the past and then to the future in the same chapter (even though it was clearly separated).

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Teen

Why: No sex, no violence (well if you count a rocket almost taking the group out at violent). One graphic scene of Dawn’s mother dying and another scene where Dawn’s father takes down a sexual predator.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**