I’m always on the look out for YA focused sci-fi novels because I love the genre and want to be able to recommend interesting and action packed books to the younger generation. The Planet Thieves is a novel that fits this perfectly – it’s aimed at the younger end of the YA crowd, and in doing so offers a novel that an captivate and enthrall the reader all the way through.
When the SS Egypt is captured by the Tremist while on a seemingly routine mission, with almost all officers held captive by the alien foe, it is left to a small group of cadets that are left to do what they can. With the situation apparently dire, Mason takes charge of the group and, along with his friends and the ship AI, they attempt to take the ship back while trying to discover just what the Tremist came for…
One of the things that instantly stands out about The Planet Thieves is the storytelling and the way Krokos lures the reader in, not bothering to hang around too much before getting right to the action. This works well for two reasons. Firstly, it gives the story some urgency, and makes you want to keep on reading to find out what’s coming next. Secondly, it helps build the characters and setting without obviously doing so. Sure, there is the odd passage giving background information, but most of what we learn is through character discussions and the natural exposition of the narrative.
The story rolls along at a great pace, always leading from one point to another with ease. It really was a joy to read and, despite the younger level it was aimed at, I wanted to keep on reading to find out exactly what was going on. Krokos manages to add little things here and there throughout the text that piqued my interest about the Human/Tremist war, and about the history of both sides. It’s points like this that make The Planet Thieves stand out above the crowd, and Krokos an author to keep an eye on.
While the seasoned sci-fi reader won’t find much new here, or much to surprise them, they will find a thoroughly enjoyable tale with plenty to keep them hooked at every turn. As for the younger crowd, well… this is exactly the sort of sci-fi novel they should be reading: action, adventure, and well fleshed out and defined characters. Highly recommended.