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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Heroes and Martyrs by Clark Rich Burbidge is the second book in the StarPassage series, which kicked off in 2016 with the award-winning first book, The Relic. This installment continues with the Carson family and the star they bought from an antique shop, one which opens the StarPassage and directs them to events, times, and people in the past. Heroes and Martyrs introduces us to two brothers, Mike and Bobby, who are helped by Tim and Martie (the protagonists in book one) in coping with a tragic accident, going back in time through the StarPassage. Meanwhile, the Trackers – displaced spirits – grow in strength and become more sinister as Mike and Bobby come to terms with and find meaning in their own circumstances.
Heroes and Martyrs is a fast-paced follow up that delivers the progression of its foundation in both faith and time travel, offering readers an armchair adventure through history. For me, one of the most poignant aspects was with Mike, who has been left paralyzed by the accident, and finds that passage through the star removes the handicap. “Mike’s parents leaned toward each other, clasped hands, and his mom said tearfully, 'Maybe he doesn’t want to come back and be paralyzed again.'” I think this really humanizes the characters and their experiences, and it was really at this point that I felt like the book moved to the category of a five-star read. The pacing is well done and while the style of writing is geared toward young adults, it's likely readers on the younger and older ends of the spectrum will find themselves immersed in Clark Rich Burbidge's series.