The Abduction of Joshua Bloom

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
250 Pages
Reviewed on 07/30/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

The Abduction of Joshua Bloom by Michael Thal sends an ordinary track star on an extraterrestrial voyage to new planets and even through time. Joshua Bloom is a regular teenager, excelling in sports and struggling with his parents' divorce, when the most astonishing change happens in his life: he's abducted by aliens and taken to a whole new universe that introduces him to extraordinary planets, extraterrestrial drama, impending destruction, and political tensions. Joshua is drawn into the matriarchal world of his captors and their goals to save their planet. Joshua and his new companions travel to exciting worlds , all the while working on a plan for unification that could bring about peace for all.

Science fiction lovers will enjoy this exciting space adventure that opens Joshua's eyes to amazing worlds beyond anything he could dream while also opening his eyes to politics, climate change, peace, and other important issues. Each planet provides a subtle commentary that adds to the larger concept of unification and peace which is the ultimate goal that they have in mind for Earth. The different planets have various situations happening such as a planet struggling with a water crisis as their world is dying due to receding water and another planet heading for total destruction. Michael Thal captures the essence of science fiction in this fun young adult read that blends action, adventure, and important commentary.

The story does have a little romance as Joshua grows close to one of his new companions, Anita, and she's at the root of what helps him understand the importance of his role in helping better the world. The story also weaves throughout a mystery element seen in the discoveries that Joshua makes when he finds that a powerful leader called Lasheem has a connection to his own family which provides a shocking turn of events. The Abduction of Joshua Bloom is an exciting science fiction read with commentary on the water crisis and world peace while providing all the fun details that make the genre a delightful adventure with space exploration, planets, and time travel.

K.C. Finn

The Abduction of Joshua Bloom is a work of fiction in the science fiction, mystery, and suspense sub-genres, and was penned by author Michael L. Thal. A teen adventure with a lot more going on beneath the surface, this work can be enjoyed by young adult and adult audiences alike. We meet our teenage hero Joshua Bloom, who goes from local track star to abductee when a group of adolescents from another planet takes him away to serve their own purposes. The Oceanians want to further their race with Josh’s help, and in doing so they introduce him to a wide world of new wonders, and places where the rules of the society and culture he knows are totally turned on their heads.

Author Michael L. Thal has crafted a strong story with plenty for science fiction fans to get stuck into. Joshua is a relatable central figure for the action to take place around, and his initial naivety is soon swept away by an intriguing learning journey that takes him to other planets and really opens his mind to the world. I loved the central message of the work, where unity is key, and Josh’s emotional arc as he comes to understand those who are different from him was powerful and effectively penned. I also felt that the dialogue was a particular highlight, with strong characterization and a great way to move the plot forward. Overall, I would definitely recommend The Abduction of Joshua Bloom for science fiction readers seeking an exciting and insightful story.

Sandy Masia

The Abduction of Joshua Bloom by award-winning author Michael Thal is about a teenage boy who gets rescued by aliens who then take him on a journey across the galaxy. He uncovers the mysteries of life, the future of sentient life, and what it means for the people of earth. This is an eclectic sci-fi story. It uses the attractions of sci-fi to explore important issues of sexism, nationalism, and identity, among others. The allure of space travel in sci-fi is adventure and the exploration of unknown worlds. What some people would call an exercise in reimagining how our world would have been like, could be like or could change. Some feel it is about wondering what is out there or what has happened. Wherever you lie on that spectrum, The Abduction of Joshua Bloom offers satisfying answers.

The story is intriguing. By reversing the roles of the sexes in the alien world, Michael Thal gives his young teenage readers a framework to process, understand, and empathize with on important social movements of our time. He advocates for the values of internationalism, which is more important than ever in the time of the pandemic, but also reminds us that these things don't threaten national or religious identities. It is impressive how Michael Thal manages to tread these lines without evoking opposing feelings. The Abduction of Joshua Bloom is incredibly entertaining and edifying. I highly recommend it. The writing style is minimalist, sharp, and engaging, which strengthens and moves the story at lightning speed. It is a ride worth taking.