I found a free copy of Molly of Mars and the Alien Syndicate by Wyatt Davenport, and I feel like I lucked out finding that lucky treasure.
Plot: Molly Lennox and her step-sister Pirra live on Mars with their mother, Naomi, whom Molly discovers is not her real mother. Molly doesn’t like her step-mother, and eventually Naomi gets the idea to send Molly to school on Neptune in order to get rid of her.
One day she sees an abduction and tries to reason with Naomi and the others on the mars colony, but no one believes she has seen anything unusual. They figure she’s looking to cause problems. She soon learns about the Syndicate, and discovers they are planning something awful. Molly, Pirra, and their mutual friend Vicky travel the colony before learning what the Syndicate is and why it must be stopped.
The book was a good length for 8-12. The characters were fairly well-developed and the plot was well-executed. It will not win points for originality, but that was unnecessary here. The hardest part for any writers is to write characters which readers will care about with a storyline that makes sense. Wyatt nailed it here. 2/2
Style: I like Wyatt’s writing. he writes the way I write MG fiction, with characters who speak naturally, not that much time bantering or filling in space with narration, and characters were not one-dimensional. This is usually a big problem for a lot of authors, but not the author. 2/2
Editing: Absolutely solid. No major errors. 2/2
Book Cover: The style fits a 5th-8th grade level. If I was critiquing it, I think the cover is a little too girl-oriented, and if I were a young boy I might not pick this up by the cover alone. But it fits. 2/2
Intangibles: The ending is solid. You can feel for Molly as she tries to avoid being sent to Neptune, and we learn more about the deep connection between Molly and Pirra. Adding the Syndicate keeps the element of mystery without being too complicated. 2/2
Overall: 10/10 I don’t know what to say. It is true this book is not as good as Harry Potter, largely because it is shorter and spends less time on character development. Do not buy this book expecting to find the next Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. But I do believe the traditional publishers missed out on a chance to get a solid book by a guy who, like most indies are, outgunned by the big players. Responsible for his own editing, book cover, and writing technique, Wyatt knocked this out. I bought book 2 and I can’t wait to review that one.
download his book free here
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