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"Beyond the Stars: Kataria" is far more than fantasy science fiction. Kelly Beltz requested permission from Space Island Group, an actual company, to use its name in the novel to reflect what will soon become the reality of space travel. The real SIG is currently working to build solar satellites and future space stations. Beltz uses scientific and technological detail and a little foresight to create a, not-so-science-fiction-like, situation for her characters. She optimistically believes events similar to those in her novel could happen within thirty years.
Beyond the Stars: Kataria
Reviewed by for Reader Views (12/09)
Even though she has most of her career working for the Space Island Group (SIG), Physicist Samantha Gerris has always managed to keep her feet on the ground. SIG has been developing a space resort for years. SIG is also secretly involved with working with aliens and studying alien technology. Samantha doesn’t discover this part until after she suffers a great loss. At this point, her children are now young adults who also become employed by SIG.
When Samantha discovers that her kids have decided to work off planet, she knows that she will desperately miss them, so she agrees to follow them up to the off-planet resort site. This is where the secrets begin to be revealed. An emergency situation lands Samantha on an alien space craft that is headed home, which happens to be across the universe. This turns out to be the trip of a lifetime for Samantha. On this ship, she learns about the alien technology, the alien’s culture, other aliens that are not so nice, and most important of all, she finds love again.
I loved reading “Beyond the Stars: Kataria.” The author, Kelly Beltz, has combined the perfect blend of science fiction, adventure, mystery and romance. The story is a pleasure to read. It is interesting to see how Beltz uses her imagination to create technology that actually seems like it could be plausible. She also takes you deep into the heart and soul of the main character. Through Samantha’s eyes we get to share her experiences, her fears, and her new love. The character has to transition through a variety of stages to be able to move on to a higher level of her self. In spite of the science-fiction elements, I found myself really being able to relate to this character. I highly recommend “Beyond the Stars: Kataria.” I also think that it would be a great selection for a reader’s group. I look forward to the next adventure in the series.