Starfinder: A Novel of the Skylords

Overview

A thrilling young adult fantasy adventure

Young, orphaned Moth is obsessed with the airships around his mountain home and dreams of taking to the air one day like his heroes, the Skyknights. With his best friend, Fiona, he will soon breach the magical boundary between their world and the world of the mysterious and powerful race known as the Skylords, who have jealously guarded their heavenly domain.

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Starfinder: A Novel of the Skylords

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Overview

A thrilling young adult fantasy adventure

Young, orphaned Moth is obsessed with the airships around his mountain home and dreams of taking to the air one day like his heroes, the Skyknights. With his best friend, Fiona, he will soon breach the magical boundary between their world and the world of the mysterious and powerful race known as the Skylords, who have jealously guarded their heavenly domain.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756406103
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/6/2010
  • Series: Skylords Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Marco's debut fantasy series, Tyrants and Kings, earned him a Barnes and Noble Readers Choice Award and has since been translated into numerous languages around the world. In addition to his work as a novelist, he is also a technical communicator, an enthusiast of military history, and a student of psychology. He often spends his free time biking through the parks of his native Long Island, where he lives with his wife Deborah and his son Jack.

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Marco turns from military fantasy to YA fantasy

    Sometimes I read too broadly for my own good.

    Years ago, I discovered a fantasy debut novel by the author John Marco, a novel by the name of the Jackal of Nar. Nice and gritty military fantasy that I liked enough to email the author about.

    My interests and reading drifted, and I didn't follow up with his later works, and in point of fact John Marco slipped from my mind until I rediscovered his work. An email contest for a copy of his latest novel led me to obtaining a copy and reading where the author I had enjoyed a decade ago had gone in his writing.

    Starfinder is very different than the military fantasy novels of his past.

    Starfinder, aimed at a YA audience (although perfectly enjoyable by adults) is the story of Moth and Fiona. He's an orphan, the ward of an old knight, and dreams of flying in the skies even as he hears Leroux's stories of the Skylords, Faerie beyond a misty reach that laps against their mountain city home. She's the granddaughter of Rendor, military mind and creator of newfangled steampunk-ish flying machines called Dragonflies, as as well as a brand new, armed to the teeth airship, the Avatar.

    When Leroux dies, willing and bidding Moth to enter the Reach and aid his avian companion, Lady Esme, to return to her true form in the process, Moth and Fiona find themselves on the run into the mists of Faerie, the Reach. As they flee, they are chased by Rendor, in his massive flying ship, and the Skylords themselves, seeking the unique magical gift that Moth now has in his possession, and only he can wield.

    The Starfinder.

    Part steampunk, Part YA, part borderland-of-Faerie novel, Starfinder is the sort of novel that adults will wish they had available to read when they were 12. Instead of the more conventional fantasy novel a la Harry Potter, the world of the Skylords is an amalgam of several fantasy and science fiction subgenres that provides a stew rich enough for adults such as myself to enjoy as well as children. Combine steampunk technology with a coming of age story, and a faerieland with dragons, centaurs, mermaids and more, and mix well. Very well, as it turns out.

    Certainly, the plot and characters are somewhat simplified for a YA sensibility, to be sure. One shouldn't expect Joycean style characterization or Gene Wolfe-esque complications in a turgid plot in a novel aimed at teenagers, to be sure. With that aside, however, Marco has done a remarkable high-wire act in balancing these various concerns, and still producing a book that is enjoyable for older readers as well. There are strains and motifs of deeper and more complex themes layered in here in a way that hearkens back to his first novel.

    It's clearly the first of a series as given it is subtitled "a skylords novel". I am looking forward to the subsequent volumes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Okay. Now, in my original reading of the book, I kind of yelled

    Okay. Now, in my original reading of the book, I kind of yelled at John for jumping around points of view. And, in some parts, it wasn't needed. In other parts, it was nice to know what was happening, now I'm kind of torn. For him, it works. Mostly.

    I really did enjoy the book, though it wasn't one of those "I-can't-put-it-down" books. I was always interested in what happened next, but I could put it down and walk away with ease. The characters ended up being rather strong and three dimensional - they weren't pure evil or pure good. It all depended on their society.

    Now, it took me a long time to find a character I could relate to (with the exception of Moth wanting to fly. I LOVE flying.). I loved Esme, but she was a bird... and I love dragons, but these ones I couldn't relate to (with the exception of their love of books. This book had a lot of exceptions in it for me.). I ended up really loving the centaurs, surprisingly, and was glad John didn't jump into their POV for this book. (Keep 'em pure, John!)

    All in all, it was a pretty solid fantasy read. I couldn't find any major plot holes besides the obvious one - why haven't people crossed and taken on the Skylords before? - but that will probably be addressed later one.

    The sequel's definitely going to be on my TBR list.

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  • Posted April 22, 2010

    My Review

    Starfinder is one of the better Young Adult Fantasy novels that I have read in quite some time. The storyline is exciting and keeps the reader interested and John Marco's blend of technology and fantasy elements makes for an interesting fantasy world for the reader. The characters are all fairly likable and easy for a pre-teen to relate to. I found the material itself to be very age-appropriate and not in any way objectionable.

    I read this book at the same time that my 13-year old grandson read it and both of us enjoyed the book and the experience of discussing it as we read to be an enjoyable affair. The book is written in such a way that it does not get tedious for either adults or teens. The switching of focus between characters is a nice way to break the novel up a bit and give the reader the perspective of different characters in the tale without having to go through the entire story from only one character's point of view.

    We both look forward to future installments in the trilogy and eagerly anticipate continuing our journey along with Moth and company.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2010

    Refreshing, but Quick

    With a simple plot and premise, Starfinder still manages to be an enjoyable read. The plot is uncomplicated, it is what it is, but rather than detract from the story, it only enhances it. The story is a refreshing fantasy adventure, and if, like me, you happen to be a fan of steampunk, there's a bit of that as well, though not enough to scare away readers unfamiliar with steampunk.

    Characters are consistent, and I was quite pleased to see that the 13 year old boy not only acted like a 13 year-old, but also perceived the world like a child. Character growth is evident throughout the story, which will make you feel like you've actually gotten somewhere by the the time the story ends.

    My only complaint about the book would be that it's a quick read. For a fast reader, like myself, this is nothing more that an afternoon's read. Whether or not that's a bad thing is up to each reader, but I know that when I turned the last page I was a bit sad it was over. That isn't to say that the story is rushed though. The pacing of the story is excellent, never dragging out, and only occasionally did I really wish for it to slow down.

    Overall, I would recommend this book to any fantasy reader who wants something that takes many of your average fantasy stereotypes and turns them upside down, to good effect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2010

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