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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Excelsior is the first volume in George Sirois’ young adult sci-fi series, The Excelsior Journey. Welcome to the world of Matthew Peters, an ordinary high school senior who is prone to bullying. He lets his imagination run free by creating webcomics. His online comic, Excelsior, catches the eye of a woman named Katherine. In a bizarre coincidence, she discovers that the life she has known on her home planet Denab IV is illustrated for the entertainment of human readers. Disguising herself as a scientist demonstrating fun experiments in schools, she traces Matthew. The young man feels that the world suddenly rests on his shoulders upon learning that he has inherited the life-force of the hero Excelsior. As Excelsior’s former adversaries are awake and reviving, Matthew must learn to purge himself of his fear, because he has no choice but to face powerful enemies.
What makes Matthew Peters an endearing character is that he is trapped in a moral obligation of saving two worlds when he does not have much of a choice. Sirois has created a conflicted character who only wants to grow his webcomics fanbase, which for a creative teenager is not too much to ask. He does his best in trying to alleviate his fear. He is at that point in his life when his only concern is supposed to be surviving high school and getting attention from the opposite sex. Excelsior demonstrates that the joys and pains of high school life can successfully be mixed with high science fiction. We get to see the best of two different worlds, and the scenes that take place on Earth are important to show the root of Matthew’s behavior in accepting a tremendous responsibility. This promises to be the start of a highly-entertaining sci-fi series for young adults.