Series: Beyond #5
Author: Maureen A. Miller
Publisher: Maureen A. Miller
Publication Date: June 22, 2020
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Maureen A. Miller
Maureen A. Miller, June 2020
From the author—
With a father from the planet, Ziratak, and a mother from Earth, Zon’s challenges are galactic. Zon doesn’t possess superpowers, though. If anything, he’s a bit of a klutz.
In Ziratakian folklore, the tale of the Temple of the Monarch has been passed down for generations. As legend has it, a series of miniature globes lead to the temple’s gate.
Except, Zon knows of a cave with small globes in it. And with one clumsy mishap, he triggers the gate–opening a portal to other worlds.
A trip through this vortex transports him to Earth, where the first human he encounters is a young woman with challenges of her own.
This is a brand new saga, and a new generation. There is no need to read the BEYOND series. However, for readers of the series, you will enjoy this continuation of the epic science fiction adventure.
Zon is not your usual teenager having an identity crisis—his crisis comes about because he’s what we used to call, very crudely and meanly, a half-breed and that’s how most people see him. What makes him truly different from the kids we see around us is that it is his Earthling side that’s foreign. Zon is the son of an Earth-born human and a native of the planet Ziratak. Zak and Aimee are handsome people and well-respected but Zon, unfortunately, is not seen in quite as generous a light.
Zon does have one very good friend, JOH, and the two are inseparable, JOH being an android who understands his young companion very well. JOH is a good listener and he helps Zon get through his angsty times. One day, the two discover a portal to other worlds, eventually one that happens to be Earth on a different plane, and Zon and JOH’s excellent adventure begins. Naturally, they meet a girl, Cassy, and Zon will have to make a crucial choice that will affect the rest of his life.
Zon is a charming, lighthearted science fiction tale with an appealing plot and truly likeable characters, most especially JOH and it’s refreshing to have a teenaged boy as the protagonist. Also, if I ever get to experience having an android for a friend, I hope he or she will be half as interesting and funny as JOH. 😄
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2020.
An Excerpt from Zon
Zon picked up on another sound. Hoofsteps. Footsteps. The tread of some unimaginable creature.
He spun, confused by the acoustics. As he swung back, he distinctly heard the approach from his right. Wrenching the utility beacon off his belt, he retreated a step towards the whirling shadows in the grove of trees.
A creature crested the hill, it’s blue beak the first thing visible.
“Oh!” It cried, lifting its head and freezing.
Zon swallowed, his legs paralyzed between flight and fight.
“You scared me,” a soft voice claimed. “I’ll just–go–”
The blue beak pivoted, although now he recognized it wasn’t a beak at all. It was a headpiece of some sort. The word eluded him, but he remembered seeing one before.
“Wait,” he called.
The figure halted, but did not look back.
“You speak–” he hesitated, assessing the slight profile, “—English?”
The hat snapped back and brown eyes narrowed under the shade of the brim.
Baseball hat! That’s what his mother called it.
The figure cocked its head.
He was pretty sure it was a female, but the slim figure was cloaked in oversized garments, and the long hair was pulled back by a twine, which was something the males on Ziratak did.
The brown eyes slid down his body.
“Your pants are moving,” she observed with a slight blush.
A nagging thump against his thigh alerted him that JOH was trying to get out. Zon slapped his hand down to still the motion.
“It’s just my droid.” He shrugged uncomfortably.
“Droid? Oh, your drone? Were you flying it?”
Her head tipped back and he saw a pale throat.
“Good day for it,” she murmured, and stared curiously at him.
She was talking to him in English.
And she looked mecaw–human.
Zon took another glance around, hoping that his body eclipsed the swirling portal behind him.
“Is this Earth?” he asked, searching the trees, but not seeing any buildings.
The girl’s eyes flared in alarm. She stumbled backwards.
Inside his pants pocket, JOH demanded attention, his incessant vibration driving Zon crazy. He pulled open his pocket to give the droid a stern look. JOH’s animated face was replaced with a string of text.
This IS Earth!
Childhood alarms registered in Zon’s mind. The last time he came to this planet he was quite young. But he remembered his mother’s caution.
Don’t say you’re from another planet.
Most of the people on Earth don’t know much about intergalactic travel. They don’t know about life in other galaxies. And what they don’t know–scares them.
Remember, you are half Earthling.
On Earth your name is Jon. It is for your protection.
All that it meant was he was a Gorzot…again.
Encouraged that the female hesitated in her flight, he tried for a more reasonable approach.
“Umm, just kidding,” he fumbled. “I’m not from here.” Where’s here? “I’m visiting.”
A tentative glimpse over her shoulder, and the woman–girl–she looked young–more like his age–finally turned back to face him.
“I can tell.”
He felt awkward under her probing gaze, but he always felt awkward when anyone looked at him for too long.
“How can you tell?”
About the Author
USA TODAY bestselling author, Maureen A. Miller worked in the software industry for fifteen years. She crawled around plant floors in a hard hat and safety glasses hooking up computers to behemoth manufacturing machines. The job required extensive travel. The best form of escapism during those lengthy airport layovers became writing.
Maureen’s first novel, WIDOW’S TALE, earned her a Golden Heart nomination in Romantic Suspense. After that she became hooked to the genre. In fact, she was so hooked she is the founder of the JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE website.
Recently, Maureen branched out into the Young Adult Science Fiction market with the popular BEYOND Series. To her it was still Romantic Suspense…just on another planet!
Find more about Maureen at www.maureenamiller.com
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