YA BOOK OF THE WEEK
THE STARLIGHT WATCHMAKER
by Lauren James, Barrington Stoke, paperback £7.99, ebook £4.99
READERS are treated to a rich and brilliantly bonkers story of aliens and androids in this sci-fi novella from Lauren James, best-selling author of The Loneliest Girl In The Universe.
Bicycle-riding butterflies, adolescent planets and clockwork moths are all thrown in, with James admitting she drew inspiration from her love of Star Trek’s Starfleet Academy and hit sci-fi comic Saga for her latest book.
It tells the story of lonely android watchmaker Hugo, who works on the campus of an elite academy for wealthy aliens from around the galaxy.
When haughty duke Dorian demands Hugo mends his broken time-travel watch, it leads the pair on an adventure to foil a sinister plot, but they discover surprises – and an unlikely friendship – along the way.
It is pitched at those aged 13 and over, particularly reluctant or dyslexic readers, but is suitable for eight years plus.
There is a host of stand-out characters, not least the young island Lady Ada De Winters, and its themes of social justice and equality really set it apart in the sci-fi genre.