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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Growing Up: A Prologue is the second novel in The Ventures of Captain Xavior series by J.R. Leilies. The fate of the Xavior family is still under question. While The Federation aims at conquering as much of the galaxy as possible, Valhalla is the only place the outlaws can live freely. Reine Xavior, daughter of Zaul, lived under the care of a nanny, with her mother no longer in the picture and her father disinterested. However, the moment she turned seven, Zaul was ready to pay attention to her. But that came with a price. He placed her in a secret training facility that trained young children for a pirate game where children learned to survive in modern war. However, things were not as easy as they seemed. Reine learned that someone wanted her dead, and they would not stop until they achieved their goal. Reine had to learn to survive, stay one step ahead of the people wanting her dead, find out more about her mother, and fit into the team of children in the facility.
I loved the blurb and had high hopes that Growing Up would be entertaining. I am very happy that the author not only lived up to my expectations but even raised the bar for the next novel in the series. While I haven’t read the first novels, I had zero issues with catching up and forming a connection with the leading cast of characters. I have to be honest; I didn’t understand Zaul at first, but as the story progressed, I understood his intention behind everything he did. Reine was a star in the making. She was a natural leader, and her skills were further highlighted as she slowly but surely made a place for herself in the training program. The narrative kept the momentum of the story, the action was alive, and the pace was fast. Author J. R. Leilies has succeeded in writing a young adult science fiction novel that gives exceptional story writing, relatable characters, and fantastic execution.