Lerner Publishing Group
Sorry friends: e-Galley not available for Kindle download.
The story of a girl and her dog—in space. Sienna Barlow loves nothing more than riding around New Kansas on top of her mega-dog, Gus. He’s one of the massive pooches protecting the human settlers of a strange planet. In fact, Sienna connects better with Gus than with other kids. So when a visiting official threatens to shut down the mega-dog program, Sienna sneaks off with her best friend. After she, Gus, and a stowaway crash their escape ship, they discover a danger to every human in their community—and launch a wild plan to save New Kansas.
This a superb all-ages adventure. Set in a retro-futuristic Martian colony the character designs and look of the world takes inspiration from 70’s sci-fi shows like Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica. The colour palette is a pleasing mix of orange/yellow/brown that harkens back to those classics while still being fresh and modern enough to appeal to younger readers. Khouri skillfully manages to capture crippling shyness that Sienna suffers from and imbues the action scenes with enough peril to keep the reader hooked. Jolley’s script moves along at a decent clip, there is enough character development to the reader invested in the fates of Sienna and Gus. The dialogue captures the awkwardness and excitement of making new friends. Being a fan of Roald Dahl, I am always up for stories that are about children showing adults what clods they are being and setting the worlds to rights. I rather enjoyed this. Jolley and Khouri have done a commendable job of creating a tale filled with derring-do, friendships, and, personal growth.