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Reviewed by Sarah Westmoreland for Readers' Favorite
The Secret is the first book in the Serendipity series by Topher Kaler. This epic young adult science fiction story begins on the planet Eden, where a long-established colony is forced to make an impossible choice to escape the destruction of their civilization. This choice leaves a crew of teenagers and older children to fend for themselves in the aptly named Lifeboat, a large space vessel that will carry them across galaxies and into a universe of adventures. Together, the crew of the Lifeboat will face impossible challenges and be forced to rely on one another as they attempt to solve a mystery that was millennia in the making.
Topher Kaler is a fantastic author with a gift for developing an intricate plot and three-dimensional characters. In The Secret, the Lifeboat is crewed by a tremendous cast of well-rounded individuals with distinctive personalities that are very well conveyed by Kaler’s writing style. Each of the worlds these characters visit is vividly described, yet we aren’t drowned in a lake of gratuitous description. The plot is well-developed and paced incredibly well. There is constant forward movement, but the transitions are smooth and logical. As a result, we don’t get swept away by massive leaps forward in time or bored by unimportant ramblings that don’t advance the plot. Overall, it is an enjoyable read. I had difficulty putting it down long enough to go to sleep, and I returned to it the following morning!