Rescuing Mara’s Father, a science fiction adventure by @dmburton72 is a YA Bookish Event pick #scifi
Title: Rescuing Mara’s Father, a science fiction adventure
Author: Diane Burton writing as D.M. Burton
Genre: Science Fiction Adventure
3 friends, a hidden starship, a quest
Her father is gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the Queen tortures and kills him.
Instead of the kind, loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine to take apart or, better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he’s gone.
Never mind, they’ve had a rocky road lately.
Never mind, Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships.
Never mind, she ran away because she’s furious with him because he reneged on that promise. Father is her only parent. She has to save him.
Along with her best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets off to find her father. Her mentor, old spaceport mechanic, seems to know why the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving them soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off their planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave, and she’ll be on her own.
Despite her fears, Mara has to rescue her father.
“Sit, Mara.” Basco’s quiet order stops me. His tone has such force I do as he says. “Jako gave you good advice that you should heed. You need a plan.”
“But we’re wasting time sitting here. What if the ship takes off? Call Dockmaster and—and tell him to delay the ship.”
He glances away from me. “The ship is gone.”
“No.” Despair crashes down on me. I slump against the wall. “We’ll never find him. We don’t know where they’re taking him. They’re Coalition. They could take him anywhere.”
“We are not going after your father,” Basco says.
“What?” I cry.
“He gave me explicit instructions to get you to safety if this situation ever arose.”
“Why would he do that? How could he even know the Coalition would come after him?”
Basco sighs. “His actions from long ago have caught up with him. Now, the forces of a powerful person have found him.”
I’m still anxious to get going, to do something, to find Father. “What did he do? Who’s after him?”
“That’s not important now.”
“Yes, it is,” I persist. “How can I know what we’re up against if I don’t have all the facts?” That’s what Father always told me. Get all the facts. “Who is after him?”
“Queen Bormella of Compara.”
“What?” Jako and I whisper-shout in unison.
“The Queen wants Father? Why?”
Basco eyes me as if trying to make up his mind what to say. I can almost see him come to a conclusion. “Taking Grendarus is a means to an end. The person she really wants is you.”
I gasp. “Me? Why me?”
“She has her reasons. That is why I have to take you to a safe place.”
“Forget going to some safe place. I’m going after Father.”
Basco gives me a long look. “Do you realize that if you try to rescue Grendarus, the Queen could take you?”
“Mara.” Lukus finally speaks. “Didn’t you pay attention to anything Teacher said about Compara? About what Bormella does to prisoners?”
I hate that he reminds me. Of course, I remember the lectures on corrupt governments among the Central Planets, especially Compara. But that was just lectures. Words about places as far away and as removed from us as storybook tales.
Now it’s real. Father is Queen Bormella’s enemy. Hang on, how would she even know him? We live out on the Frontier. How could he be her enemy? Stars and asteroids, she tortures and executes her enemies. If she wants me, I must be her enemy, too. Fear for Father, fear for myself overwhelm me. I slide down the wall and struggle to breathe.
“Don’t you get it, Mara?” Jako says. “She’ll torture you . . . or worse.”
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
As a youngster, I craved books. (Still do. 😊) We lived in a rural area with no local library. A bookmobile came to our school once a month. The lady who ran the bookmobile recommended Peddler’s Girl by Elizabeth Howard, a story about a young girl’s adventures in Michigan. That was what I wanted. But after I’d read all of Howard’s book, the lady recommended “classic” books. Bo-ring. I wanted more adventure stories. And if there was a hint of romance, all the better. I read all the Nancy Drew books I could find, too. Still, I wanted more.
I envy today’s young readers who have so many choices—the Rick Riordan books, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent, etc. My oldest grandchildren are avid readers. They know I’m a writer, but my books are too “adult” for them. So, I wrote a book they could read, Rescuing Mara’s Father, a science fiction adventure. Because they are Star Wars fans, I chose to set this book in a “galaxy far, far, away.”
Almost 15-year-old Mara lives with her father on a remote planet on the frontier of space. Like many teens, she and her parent argue about her future. She thinks he doesn’t understand her. She doesn’t realize he’s trying to protect her. When he’s captured and whisked off their planet, she has a choice—flee to safety or rescue her father. What a no-brainer. She and her friends set off on a quest to find her father.
This is the kind of adventure story I wanted to read when I was a young reader.
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 23 books featured in the Young Adult Bookish Event:
Runs September 7 – 11, 2020.
Winner will be drawn on September 18, 2020.
The first time D.M. Burton saw Star Wars IV: A New Hope, she was hooked on science fiction and space travel. The Star Trek movies made her want to travel to other planets. Alas, she is still Earth-bound. D.M. and her husband live in Michigan, close to their two children and five grandchildren.