Ray Strong. Originally released in 2015, this reformat/re-release from the author is 354 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. Possibly worth noting for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. This title is available in the KU subscription to borrow and download for free.
This is epic space adventure. The world building and setup are compelling and the beginning of the book introduces the reader to protagonist 12 year old Meriel Hope who is sympathetic and believable. 10 years later Meriel's still trying to heal her childhood trauma and solve her family's mystery.
In a lot of ways, this is a standard SF quest narrative. The main character is searching for Home (literally) and her struggles make for a compelling story. This is a debut novel (as far as I can tell from publishing info), but it's a good one. There are some rough spots, but in general it's well polished and finished and a good read.
It did seem as though there was maybe some overreach with the scale of the novel. This is a -huge- plot with fights and philosophy and personal growth and possibly some of that could have been foreshadowed and saved for a sequel. On the other hand, -everything- about publishing these days turns on having a franchise with dozens of 'products/units' plotted out and ready for marketing. It's exceedingly refreshing to see an author write a solid standalone book without planning for the next book in the series.
I enjoyed this book very much. Four stars. Hoping for more from this author.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.