Emerald by Rosemary L. Smith
Illustrated by: N/A
Series: Pale Blue Dot #1
Published: Rosemary Smith, 10th July 2013
Length: 329 pages
Genre: Science Fiction, YA Fiction
Where Did I Get It? Amazon Kindle Store
Summary (from Goodreads): A fast paced action and adventure story for young adults and those who would like to be. Set in the future but not typical science fiction. More like Scooby-doo in space with less slapstick and more teenage angst.
Riqui Darwin has a unique pet, a dodaleon, know as ‘The Doodle’. A bit like a dog but with a shiny silver coat. She comes from the planet Eros. But alien creatures are normal for Riqui, her mother is an astrobiologist.
When sinister events upset the family’s routine Riqui is forced to grow up quickly. She learns secrets about the dodaleon that make her very valuable. On her travels across the galaxy to save her family she encounters a variety of threats; galactic ‘flu, alien wildlife, pirates and high heels.
The young rat had a chocolate brown head and a cream body, a cute sensitive nose and long white whiskers.
My Review: I really, really enjoyed this novel. It was exciting and fast-paced and the characters and concepts were well thought through and interesting.
The story was quite animal-based which kept me happy to start with but the addition of cut-throat pirates, underground politics, deception and someone who struggles to walk in high heels as much as I do just added to the fun.
The world building was brilliant and the cast of characters varied – from the moody and mysterious Merlin, charming and handsome Alexi and bitter but powerful Professor Diamandis. There was something for everyone.
I particularly liked Riqui, the main character and owner of the Doodle, because of her genuine nature. Her attitude was perfect for a thirteen year old girl – bolshy but delicate, stubborn but vulnerable – I regularly laughed out loud and/or nodded along with her as I read. It was a refreshing viewpoint for a sci-fi story and made it accessible to an audience perhaps usually afraid or turned-off from the genre.
I have only given Emerald 4.5* instead of 5 because of a couple of tiny niggles – there were a few instances of ‘breath’ being used instead of ‘breathe’ and other tiny grammatical hiccups and Jaime’s stilted speech grated on me a little. I know it was to imply his heavy accent and that he was using his second language rather than his mother-tongue but it was a touch too much. If he had a few phrases that he consistently used to imply this, it would probably have been enough. With it being in every line he spoke, it made the text feel clunky and broke my concentration a little. This was a big shame as Jaime is a brilliant character that I really liked a lot, a tiny bit of tweaking would sort it all out though.
Over all, I am really looking forward to the next in the series and recommend this to anyone who wants to dip into the sci-fi genre with something lighthearted, whether they be adult or teen.
My Rating: 4.5/5*