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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
The Key of Astrea by Nicholas Marson has a strong appeal for fans of science fiction and urban fantasy. Jenny Tripper is a sixteen-year-old girl with a mental disorder. A holographic woman, Lin, informs her that her "mental disorders are indicative of latent ability." So, when Lance LaGrange, owner and CEO of Cabin, invites her to join their team, she is thrilled. At last, there is someone who believes in her, who thinks she is not crazy, an experience she has never had with her aunt or her mother. Jenny learns that she might the one to wield the key to unlock the galactic gateway and save a race of aliens. But she must compete with others like her, gifted with unusual powers. The only problem is, she is getting embroiled in something stronger than she ever imagined; an interstellar conflict that might require far more than her abilities to resolve.
This is a work of great imagination, a novel that is well-plotted and skillfully accomplished. From the very start, the reader is greeted by the strong, descriptive style of writing, with vivid images in the depths of outer space — the flash of light, the sudden appearance of hundreds of ships, and movement through the Terminal in the galaxy. While the writing is exceptionally good, the author does an impeccable job with character development, and readers will enjoy how a young girl with a mental disorder quickly morphs into a character on whom the destiny of the solar system depends. Her growth is painful, starting with the challenges of the test. She is real and readers can easily relate to her. The Key of Astrea is a powerful tale, action-packed, and filled with emotionally intense moments. Nicholas Marson comes across as a master storyteller, who combines realism with high tech concepts to create a story that is transporting.