Fracture (Colonial Scouts Adventures: Book 1)
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Pages: 117
Goes Well With: Chicken fried rice and orange juice

When Earth becomes overpopulated, scouts are sent through wormholes to find inhabitable planets, where the courageous can colonize a whole new environment with unlimited possibilities—possibilities that could turn out either good or bad, depending on how well the scouts did their jobs.

The only hope that sixteen-year-old Impani has for a better life is to go from being an Impellic Cadet to a full-fledged Colonial Scout, but she has to prove that she can work with a partner. Impani has a curious sense of wonder, and she’s more willing to push the boundaries of her mission than her partner is. If she’s not careful, she’ll fail and be sent back to the streets. She might even face execution.

Trace Hanson is the son of an influential farmer. When he breaks the law, he gets to choose between prison and a position as a Colonial Scout. Since he has no intention of going to prison, he chooses the latter. But he’s partnered with Impani, and she seems to threaten his chances of staying out of jail.

When the last ring in the wormhole breaks down, Impani and Trace bounce from one inhospitable planet to another, desperate for a rescue that may never come—unless technician Newton Ambri-Cutt can figure out a way to trace them and bring them back alive.

Filled with harrowing adventure, Fracture will take you on a breathless ride through one wormhole after another. With a wild imagination, Ms. Smolen sends her characters to vividly described planets—each vastly different from the others. Though this is a short novel that zips right along, you still get a good glimpse at each environment—enough to make you beg for more of these adventures.

Impani is a brave teenager who knows what she wants for her future, and Trace is an admirable young man who’s willing to turn his life around after making mistakes in his past. But even the minor characters come alive on the page—and some will amuse you and coax a grin from you, while others will touch your heart.

Fracture is a wonderful young adult read that’s guaranteed to take you out of the real world and bring you to a scientific fantasy world that was built from the ground up by the unbelievable imagination of the author. I got completely lost in the story—and I plan on picking up future Colonial Scouts adventures to enjoy while munching on my lunch.

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