Book Review: Star Passage

Starpassage: Book One, the Relic
Starpassage: Book One, the Relic by Clark Rich Burbidge

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 stars: It was okay. I enjoyed this story about siblings Tim and Martie who find an ancient Star relic that transports them through time. The teens are on a mission to find spiritual help for their father, who is suffering from PTSD after being wounded in the army, and for their mother, who is dealing with depression. With their family falling apart, they wander through history seeking answers, but mysterious Shadow men are trying to steal the Star from them, and Tim and Martie will need help if they are going to return safely to their own time.

I liked all the history in this book! Some of the plot points and settings are drawn from true history, and some of it is, of course, imagined. I was disappointed that one of the first places the characters travel to is Valley Forge where they meet General George Washington. Extremely trite.
But the rest of the historical settings, such as a WWI medical ship and a wagon train traveling the Badlands of the American West, are more diverse and interesting.

I love the adventure in this book! It starts out slow, but picks up in the middle and ending of the book with spies, bombs, sabotage, wilderness survival, and of course the evil Shadow men who will stop at nothing to gain the power of the Star. There are some really well-written action scenes that draw you into the story.

The characters have some development as they learn their spiritual lessons, but it feels very stiff somehow. They have these abrupt attitude changes that feel unnatural.
There is also very little foreshadowing of certain events that would have made the story better. A little backstory or preparation could have given some key scenes more tension.

There are several appalling spelling errors that made me cringe.
One example: “Here, here!” said the gathered officers in response.”
Instead of “Hear, hear”. That is just sad.
Anther example: “I’ll make due,” she said.”
Someone please kill me now. That is terrible. Where was the copy editor?
Don’t even get me started on the grammar. Don’t use the word “shined” when you actually mean “shone”. The grammarian inside me is dying here.

The author has a definite tendency to “tell” instead of “show” which makes the writing stiff and hinders the reader from attachment to the characters. And the writing is extremely preachy! The messages ARE inspiring and follow the structure of the story, but there is a lot of preachy dialogue that gets redundant since we are told the same spiritual lesson over and over in different scenes.

I was personally inspired by the spiritual themes of the book, but I feel like I read a sermon instead of a novel.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher/ author in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own personal thoughts and are not influenced by anyone.

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