Lost Coast Rocket is the first book in the Mare Tranquillitatis Series written by Joel Horn.
Ken O’Brien has always found it difficult to be around kids his age. For one, he is way smarter than they are and second, his interest, astronautics, is different from theirs. So, when he meets Akira, he finally finds someone who shares his passion.
Unlike Akira, however, Ken displays nonconformity when it comes to formal education despite his brilliant mind, and he would rather spend more time in his grandfather’s shop. Together with Akira, Ken forms a group of rocket enthusiasts.
Unbeknownst to everyone except for Akira, however, a tragic event in Ken’s young life leaves him with feelings of guilt and inadequacy. When the girl from the past shows up in the shop and joins his rocket club, she stirs up not only painful memories but also new and unfamiliar emotions from Ken.
This is a fast-paced and very exciting YA fiction that keeps the reader hooked. A group of teenagers working together on their common passion is unusual in this age when young people are wasting their time on Facebook and video games. Their sense of adventure is contagious and their determination to see their mission through is laudable. The romance aspect of the story is sweet and just appropriate for the target audience.
The writing is casual and easy to read while the descriptions are minutely detailed. The dialogues, especially among the members of the group, are for the most part funny, while those between parents and children are realistic.
The characters are well-developed that it is easy to determine who is talking, from Ken, the silent leader whom the group looks up to and Akira, the quiet brainiac who knows what he wants, down to the other members of the group.
However, I found some of the explanations too technical and the few noticeable misplaced modifiers distracting. I may not like the ending very much but I know it is necessary in preparation for the next book.