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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Arcadia was 6 years old when the Pandronan Empire waged war against her tiny home planet of Garvner. She lost her father and her older brother Rik during their chaotic escape. Captured and molded into the Emperor’s shadow, the now grown up Arcadia is the perfect and loyal soldier, disposing of all Emperor Neil Valym’s enemies. During the Representative’s Ball, a ghost from her past appears, jarring Arcadia’s reality. Now she must choose whether to stay loyal to the Empire or seek out the legendary planet Sanshli that her father used to tell her as a bedtime story.
Most of the sci-fi elements in The Quest (Sanshlian Series, Book 1) by Dani Hoots are familiar, but are sufficiently well developed in terms of a plot that would not disappoint hardcore YA fans. There are enough action, mystery and adventure elements to drive the plot forward. However, I’m somewhat ambivalent about the characters’ ages. With the exception of a few (very few) characters, such as Arcadia’s father, the resistance leader Ben Archer, everyone is in their twenties. The military’s best generals achieved success and formidable rank in their teens. Personally, this detracts a bit from the believable aspect of story. On the other hand, The Quest is targeted for the YA demographic, so the characters’ ages might not be an issue at all to younger readers. In fact, it might be an attractive factor. On the whole, this is a solid space opera and would continue to entice YA fans in Book 2.