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Andy Nebula: Interstellar Rock Star

by Edward Willett

The hero of Regina author Edward Willett’s third young adult fantasy novel is Kit, a 15-year-old street-smart musician in Fistfight City on the planet Murdoch IV. He speaks hip, futuristic slang and survives by playing his stolen stringsynth in the streets for money. Almost before he can work out where his next meal is coming from, Kit is picked from the streets by Qualls, a strangely powerful talent scout for Sensation Singles, and catapulted to fame as Andy Nebula, interstellar rock star. But fame is fleeting and, as the crowds of adoring fans thin, Andy finds himself at the centre of a mysterious and dangerous plot involving a powerful, illegal drug called flash.

The action in Andy Nebula moves along at a cracking pace and the main characters are well drawn. One of the best characters is a tentacled alien called Rain, and a good dynamic is created between him and Kit. Unfortunately, Rain is present only briefly at the beginning and end of the book. Kit is a strong hero with human flaws. His slang appears a bit artificial to start with, but I suspect this will be a problem only for adults. When Rain is not around, Kit is helped by Meta, an airhead groupie who has stowed away on the spaceship. Meta is a good female character: cheeky and resourceful, she develops depth as the story progresses, eventually saving Kit’s life from particularly unpleasant aliens.

The action in Andy Nebula is fast and furious enough to keep even reluctant readers turning the pages, and young teen fans of fantasy and science fiction will not be disappointed.