It is the day after Aimee Patterson’s high school graduation. College beckons, as does her dream of becoming an engineer. On an early evening walk, her cocker spaniel charges into the woods on the other side of the pond. Aimee trails after him, and in the stillness of that forest the unthinkable happens. She becomes paralyzed and watches in horror as her hands vanish before her eyes.
Waking to the sound of voices, Aimee realizes that she has been kidnapped. Little does she know how far away from home she is, though. In an attempt to flee her captors, she launches from their confines only to freeze at the view outside the window. The sky is black and filled with stars, and in the distance is a familiar blue globe. The planet Earth.
A group of humans forced to flee their planet after an epidemic destroyed their civilization now travel the galaxies in search of an antidote. Retrieving samples of plant life from every solar system, on this occasion Aimee was accidentally seized instead.
Aimee must learn to avoid the advances of an awkward young scientist who seems intent on dissecting her, as her own fascination turns to the exotic young warrior, Zak. Having fallen in love with Zak, she is now torn with the decision to return to Earth or live beyond the stars.
Aimee cleared her throat. “Ziggy, dammit, come here!”
She heard a muffled bark and sure enough it came from the gloomiest, most shadowed wedge of the forest. Aimee steeled herself. With one last look back at the pond, she started after him. She found Ziggy only a hundred yards in, and what struck her as odd was that he stood still. His long ears, which usually brushed the ground, now hovered a few inches in the air. His head and snout were held high, and Aimee found herself following his gaze up into the trees.
“What is it, Zig?” she whispered, her eyes struggling to focus on something.
At first she saw nothing. The darkness was a void barely penetrated by the waning sunlight at her back. Yet, there was something. A light. A reflection. Something. A hum. Definitely a hum. Not the wind. Not a motor. It sounded like the oscillating fan in her bedroom window.
Aimee squinted. She swore for a moment that they weren’t even trees overhead and that it was the massive underbelly of a giant vessel. A spaceship parked atop the forest, obliterating any sunlight. She rolled her eyes. Space ships and aliens lurking beyond the Patterson property.
“Come on, Zig.” she muttered, kicking herself mentally. “Neither of us belong here. We’re just spooked.”
Ziggy cocked his head and emitted a low growl. For a moment Aimee wasn’t sure whether he was going to dart deeper into the woods or just stand there barking like an insane puppy. But he surprised her. Ziggy, the traitor, took off back towards the pond like a herd of rabid Rottweilers were chasing him.
“Coward!” she yelled, turning to follow. “You could at least wait for me.”
At least she’d meant to turn. She’d also meant to follow. Aimee couldn’t move. If she’d done what she’d meant to do, she’d be walking nice and easy back around the pond, but she wasn’t.
She thought for a moment that her muscles were locked in spasm from the two laps around the track during gym today, but her hands and arms were paralyzed. She tried to clench her fingers into a fist and could feel perspiration bead on her forehead from the effort. She was motionless.
What the hell?
Even her lips could not move to speak those three words.
Light materialized around her as if someone had switched on a spotlight from above. She tried to squint against the vivid assault, but even her eyelids were frozen in place. Instead, all she could do was watch as the light grew brighter, bright enough that she could see through her hands. That freaked her out. Her hands were transparent, and she could see through them to the mottled leaves on the ground below.
The hum intensified and she began to feel lightheaded.
One lurch of her stomach and she felt nothing at all.
Magical Musings rates BEYOND 5 Stars
I don’t read a lot of Young Adult books but I have read all of Maureen A. Miller’s other books and just love her writing. This was no different. I love Maureen’s imagination in this book. Many times while I was reading it I found myself smiling and wondering how she came up with everything in the book. Of course, as true to Maureen’s writing she can describe a setting like no one else. I always had a clear idea of where the characters were and their surroundings. The story moved along easily and I never really felt lost. The characters were well developed and I felt the same emotions that Aimee felt when she interacted with other characters or when she got herself into a little trouble.
The relationship between Zak and Aimee was believable and was true to their characters throughout. I get excited about young love and that is what we saw with these two. They were two lost souls from two different worlds that found each other in space of all places. The book takes you back to what it felt like to be the odd man out in high school (or anytime really) and not know where you fit. Zak and Aimee found that they fit with each other.
I enjoyed the adventure that Aimee and Zak went on while looking for the cure for the disease that took so many people as that was the real turning point for their relationship. I loved Aimee’s thirst for knowledge and how Zak enjoyed that as well. This book truly took me out of reality and made me wonder “what if.” I wasn’t sure how Maureen was going to end this book since I saw in an interview this was going to be a series. I was torn on how I wanted it to end, too. Luckily, I think she ended the book perfectly. If you love young adult books, definitely give this one a try! You won’t regret it. I look forward to the other books in the series.