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by Branwen OShea
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy
They thought the biggest problem they faced was each other.
After Bleu, Rana, and their new friends narrowly prevent war between the star beings and humans, they hope the upcoming negotiation will secure the peace. Newly emerged from their subterranean haven, the Northern Haven humans are clearly not suited to Earth’s ice age, and require assistance from the enlightened star beings to survive long term on the Surface. But Commander Savas doesn’t trust the suspiciously kind star beings and their unexplainable abilities. When both sides reluctantly negotiate a joint mission to find the other Havens, Bleu must somehow cooperate with the manipulative commander to keep his friends safe.
As their team confronts unexpected dangers, Bleu and his teammates begin to suspect the star beings don’t know as much about the Surface as they claimed, while Rana is torn between remaining true to her nonviolent ways or becoming more human to survive. When an unnatural predator attacks, even the nearly all-knowing Kalakanya can’t explain it. Now the team must pull together or their new discovery will pull them apart, limb by limb.
Read an Excerpt
Savas grinned. “Think of it as research. They’re a new species. You’re doing field observation.”
“I don’t think she eats at all.” Atsushi frowned. “None of the Crowned Ones seem to. They go to the gathering hall to socialize.”
“You do realize that’s impossible, right? They’re alive. They need an energy source.”
“Kalakanya said she eats air or something.”
Savas snorted. “Well, be curious. Ask Kahali when you’re alone. Later, ask the others. We’ll compare answers.”
Atsushi grimaced. “They’ll know what I’m thinking. I don’t want to upset them.”
“No, you don’t.” If he had another Medicci device to block mindreading, he’d offer it to him. There must be something the boy could do to stay safe. A tiny, guilty voice rose within him at exposing the boy to the dangers of mind-control. No kid should go through that.
“What if you keep that chant Kahali taught you running in your head? Maybe then they won’t catch on?”
“Maybe.” Atsushi was silent. “I’m supposed to be chanting that all the time, but I’m horrid at remembering.”
“Then work on that.”
Atsushi nodded and then glanced toward the fire, where the star beings suddenly sang more loudly. “You still don’t trust them, do you?”
“No, I don’t.”
“But why? They’re so nice.”
“There used to be a fish that lived in the depths of the ocean. It evolved a beautiful light that shone magnificently in the darkness. Other fish would swim close, mesmerized by the beauty, feeling completely safe. And then the light-bearing fish would tear them to pieces.”
About the Author:
As a young girl, Branwen wanted to become an ambassador for aliens. Since the aliens never hired her, she now writes about them.
Branwen OShea has a Bachelors in Biology from Colgate University, a Bachelors in Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work. She lives in Connecticut with her family and a menagerie of pets, and enjoys hiking, meditating, and star-gazing. Her published works include Silence of the Song Trees, The Calling, The Cords That Bind, and The Chasm.