Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
370 Pages
Reviewed on 03/07/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Have you ever seen a face in the clouds? Have you looked? Rex has. While on a plane to visit his aunt and uncle, Rex saw a face in the clouds from his window. The strange thing was that the face looked so real and it appeared to be looking right at him. And that sealed his fate, as well as the fate of his mother and his uncle and his uncle’s dog, Radar. You see, the face in the clouds was somehow connected to a spaceship, Skyclyffe, one that had been hovering over Earth since before World War II, with people and creatures living on it. Now that Rex had seen the face, he was a threat to their continued safety, to their secret. The only thing Skyclyffe could do, to protect its floating oasis, was to abduct Rex, his mother, his uncle and Radar, the dog. Baffled, confused, all Rex and his family want to do is escape, to return to a normal life on Earth. But, in their process of finding a means to escape, they inadvertently find life on Skyclyffe fascinating.

Z. Moss’s Middle-Grade novel, Skyclyffe, is a fascinating read, a real page-turner. Written in a language suitable for the older Middle Grader (12 to 14), the characters, setting, and plot pull the reader right into the action. The main character, Rex, at thirteen, is the typical young teenager in so many ways, but as he prefers drawing to sports, he’s a bit of an outcast at school, used to bearing the brunt of different schoolyard bullies. Rex instantly captures the reader’s interest as many young readers will relate to his challenges. The plot is well developed with descriptive passages with a keen eye for just enough detail to entertain the young reader. There is definitely an ‘awe’ factor in the lengthy description of the spaceship itself, as the author cleverly describes it through Rex’s eyes as the boy is given a private tour of the ship by a girl his age, Amelia. There is so much about this book that will appeal to Middle-Grade readers (and even older readers like myself). What a fantastic tale.

Dr. Patricia Eroh

This is a wonderful book for the middle school kids and the middle schoolers I work with absolutely loved it. I did too for that matter. It is a great story with a lot of action and great characters. Get it for your youngster or, if you are like me, yourself.

Sarah Coleman

This was an entertaining read with a lot of character development and world building. I never put it down and got through it easily in one night. I would definitely suggest this read to fellow book lovers. I have never been so into science fiction books until this past year, and this one was definitely a good one.


Skyclffe and the characters in this floating world are amazing! Z. Moss created a wonderful fantastical place and filled it with characters who are real, everyday and also quirky. A fabulous read!


What a wonderful journey for Rex and his family. The fear of the unknown and the wonder of their strange captivity opened up a whole new world. It was exciting, fantastical, mysterious and fun. A thoroughly enjoyable story.

Lane Bailey

I picked it up because I was intrigued by the description. It was an enjoyable read. I have also loaned it to my middle-grade son to read. He is a voracious reader and I'm sure he'll love it. I'm looking forward to future installments.

Ellen Stanley

A lovely read that captivates from the first page. The characters are fresh and vividly drawn. Highly recommended!

Nguyet Hoang

This is a very ambitious, wonderfully-developed sci-fi fantasy novel. The protagonist is a 13-year-old boy who's not particularly high in the popularity pecking order. Even his uncle senses this and calls him names, but Rex gets his revenge in his active imagination. The plot keeps you turning the pages and everything is very well-observed with creative descriptions and good humor.