YA BOOK OF THE WEEK

Gloucestershire Echo - - FAMILY MATTERS -

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.

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