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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.