Lost Coast Rocket, Mare Tranquillitatis series Book 1

When physics and ballistics make more sense to you than small talk, you’ll have few friends and prize those you find. Ken O’Brien treasures his visits with his grandfather, a pioneer of the NASA rocket program, and when the old man dies, the fascination with rocketry and space that he shared with his grandchild lives on. Ken and his small group of friends culminate their amateur efforts with a multi-stage launch that attracts the attention of multiple law-enforcement agencies. Although Ken is obliged to keep his head down thereafter, his inventions pave the way to a record-breaking achievement.

The first of the Mare Tranquillitatis Series, Lost Coast Rocket is a well-written, gripping YA sci-fi read, and the characterisation of Ken, the loner prodigy, is strong enough to make it a key draw in the story. The depth and complexity of this protagonist made the character type understandable and relatable for the reader, which given that many people find the introverted characters difficult to write and to read about, is no mean feat. I was also extremely impressed that despite a number of detours into technicalities, author Joel Horn used a powerful alchemy of good pacing and characters the reader can care about to make this book a page-turner from start to finish. I’d highly recommend this to the sci-fi readers out there.

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