With those words uttered by his best friend during an online chat, Austin Stone, a high school senior, forces himself to accept the fact his friends are leaving him behind.
With average grades, less than stellar play in baseball, and a single mother struggling to make ends meet, it looks as if Austin's only way to continue his education would be through some kind of miracle.
His only escape is playing an online space simulation, Star Runners. It seems to be the only environment in which he excels. However, being a champion Trident Starfighter isn't something you want to brag about in public nor will it help earn a scholarship.
But as soon as Austin is about to give up on college he reaches the top of the elite server. He receives an invitation from a school shrouded in secrecy promising to unlock his hidden potential. With no other options, Austin takes the offer.
What Austin doesn't realize is that his dream of going to college has just opened up the cosmos and will challenge everything Austin thinks he knows about himself and the universe.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Striker on 05-03-15
Good Overall Story... But Predictable. Easy Listen
Overall I thought this was a worthwhile listen and well worth the credit. Even though it kept my attention, I did find it pretty predictable and thought it ranked in the category of "Simple Young Adult" story rather than true science fiction.
The storyline follows a young male just graduating from high school roughly a year after the death of his father. He has aspirations of college, but he and his single mother can't afford the tuition. During his free time he and his best friend play a space dogfight-type video game on the internet. Both are in the top 5 players in the game worldwide. After his best friend wins the top spot on the game's rankings, he is offered a scholarship to a mysterious elite university. A year later when the main character beats the one person in the game who has never been beaten and also reaches #1, he also gets offered a scholarship to another elite university (where mysteriously everyone seems to be a player of the same online space video game).
To make a long story short, the video game played by all of the characters is actually a simulation for real-life space fighters. As it turns out, the space navy for the human worlds in our area of the galaxy uses earth as one of its recruiting grounds (unbeknownst the the people or governments of earth).
The story was definitely interesting and I didn't get board while listening, but it did have it's downsides... Firstly, I found the entire book VERY predictable. I knew exactly where the storyline was going and there were essentially no surprises at all. Also, although I have listened to a lot of different Science Fiction books and series, I do generally like there to be SOME science. I don't need to be walked through an hour explanation of how something works, but I do like there to be some explanation or justification of the technology used in the story... This book had almost nothing to that end.
The narrator was actually pretty good, but there were a few places that I lost track of which character was actually speaking, so I only give 3 of the 4 or 5 stars I usually give to narrators.
Story gets 3 stars because of its predictability and lack of innovation. However, I'm giving an overall score of 4 stars because, as I said, I did enjoy the book and the story.
18 of 25 people found this review helpful
By Nvr2old on 09-03-15
This past week I've had the good fortune to find 3 of my favorite listens with the last one being Star Runners! BUT with Star Runners, as with the other 2, it's a series of one! Never again! I will check " see series" and make sure there's at least 2 books in the series! Now I'm possession of a list of at least six of these 1 book teases, trying to be patient and with fingers crossed that none scrape by me when they're released. The only reason I have a date for one is I'm welcome to prebuy!
But venting aside this was a fun, engrossing book that had what I like: a John Wayne western set in space. You know the kind with plenty of action,with strong good guys, and just enough romance to tell the handsome males from the winsome females. There's even the cagey mentor and the young hero that will ultimately save the day. Too cookie cutter for many but it's the listens I enjoy. The narrator does a good job but I was worried when I first started the book because he started in a flat, almost monotone, reading. It didn't last long. My only complaint about the author is he was wordy and took too long to set up his prime characters. Once everyone was "away at school", things proceeded along at a good pace but I feel the author could have blue lined one chapter for sure, maybe more.
Like the concept of space westerns? Ante up a credit!
10 of 14 people found this review helpful