by Alan Black
My rating: 5 stars
Publication Date: February 15, 2015
Publisher: Alan Black
Genre: YA Fantasy
Age Level: 12 - 18 | Grade Level: 7 - 12
Print Length: 230 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
York August Sixteen was abandoned as a baby, abused and molested as a
child, beaten and harassed as a teen, and had his rightful place in the
Republic’s Space Navy stolen from him. Fighting back against huge
government systems was useless. Dispensing justice on an individual
case-by-case basis was more to his liking, yet even that was taken away
when he was stationed on a lonely communication space station. York’s
life would change when he decides to seek justice for people even less
fortunate than him.
Empty Space by Alan Black
Buckle in, turn up the thrusters and 3-2-1, we have lift off into the latest YA Sci-fi tale of one young man’s life in a future world that still hasn’t learned to celebrate the differences between individuals. Empty Space by the very talented Alan Black goes beyond fantasy entertainment as his words bring the story of York August Sixteen to life, the good, the bad and the ugly. Is this how heroes are born or how society attacks the weakest and most innocent and creates damaged goods from one of creation’s unmolded creatures?
Alan Black takes us on a journey into the future, where space travel is the norm, as York’s life unfolds in a series of heartbreak, isolation and disappointment, yet, he holds tight to hope and the thought of proving himself to those more powerful and wealthy around him. When he is robbed of an honor he had sweat blood to earn and is forced to become a lowly crew member on a spaceship destined for the farthest reaches of the galaxy, it is no wonder he would take a position on an isolated space station in hopes of finding a place where he belonged. Sadly, that was not to be, until a group from a nearby planet come aboard for a supply run. Is this to be York’s chance to shine, to have camaraderie and feel part of a community, strange as they are? Slavers sliver through the area, kidnapping for pay and York has made it his mission to stop these heinous mercenaries. Will his past catch up with him and snap that frail thread of control he has clung to? Will he go too far to avenge both his past and the victims of these kidnappings or will he find his true purpose in life?
One of the best things about Alan Black’s style is his “let’s make it real” dialogue, scenes and character conflict. Written for a young adult audience, Mr. Black’s use of subtle humor and attitude will resonate with contemporary readers, YA or not. York is not a cardboard cutout, his mental dialogue, his feelings and actions are gritty and, not to overuse the word-REAL. With some great characters on board, some fast-paced action and some truly insightful plotting and story-telling, York’s world is alive. Once again, I am amazed at how Alan Black makes a connection and invites us into his world of vivid imagination while creating an emotional link between his readers and his characters. Made for young adults, recommended for all, get ready to enter Empty Space.
I received this copy from Alan Black in exchange for my honest review.