Also by this author: The Dream Traveler's Quest, Into the Book of Light, The Curse of Shadownman, The Garden and the Serpent, The Final Judgment, Millie Maven and the Bronze Medallion, Millie Maven and the Golden Vial, Millie Maven and the White Sword, Millie Maven, Play Dead, Nine, And They Found Dragons
Series: And They Found Dragons #1
Published by Scripturo on November 9, 2021
It is said a child will lead them. But lead them where?
Jack is just 12, born on an Ark orbiting Earth among 169 survivors of a global apocalypse who eagerly await the planet's restoration so they can return to the surface. With supplies dangerously low, the time for waiting is over. Humanity must return now or die among the stars.
Unfortunately there is a problem. A big one. Dragons have inexplicably risen from Earth's ashes. Worse, they emit a global toxin deadly to all over the age of puberty. After much debate, the Ark's leaders realize that humanity's only hope is to send teams of specially trained children to hunt and eliminate the dragon queen.
But Jack is frail and deemed unworthy for the dangerous mission.
So begins a tale leads readers, young and old alike, on a journey with Jack, the child who will lead them all in the most unlikely of ways. A journey to an Earth they could not have imagined. An Earth where humanity's fear takes physical form as dragons that can only be defeated through a love that casts out all fear.
In the wake of a nuclear war that destroyed the earth, a remnant escaped to the stars. When time came to return home, they discovered something most unusual. In humanity’s absence, dragons have taken over the Earth and their toxic breath kills all humans—except children. Children aren’t as susceptible to the toxins and so a plan is made. Children must save humanity. That’s where The Boy Who Fell from the Stars begins. Jack Solomon, whose blood disease has made him immune to the toxin, is one of the eight who will be sent to earth.
The first part of the book sets up the storyline, providing a lot of explanation and exposition. It helps settle you into the story, though it means a lot of telling rather than showing. Jack is portrayed as an outcast. He’s physically weaker than his companions, only selected to be one of the eight because of an injury to another student, and not considered up to the task. It’s a typical weak-defeats-strong, brains-over-brawn trope but it fits thematically with the Dekkers’ message. Early on, you get the idea that the adults’ plan—have the children kill the dragons with spears—is not going to be a good plan.
The bulk of the book sets up the plans to leave and the subtle—then not-so-subtle ways—their mission is being sabotaged. Something is working against them. Someone doesn’t want them to go back. But who? By the end of the book, the group departs for earth and immediately things begin to go wrong. They crash land on a hostile planet, hostile toward each other, already feeling the effects of the dragon’s toxin, setting up the next book in the series.
The Boy Who Fell from the Stars carries a heavy load. It’s responsible for the world building elements and a lot of work goes into establishing the storyline. Because this is a children’s book—around 30,000 words—the Dekkers have to pack a lot into a pretty small amount to space. This makes some elements, like the central conflict of the book, seem a bit underdeveloped. I suppose it’s fitting for the intended age group, but I wanted more! One thing the book does well is give readers a good sense of who Jack is and allow a sense of camaraderie and identification to develop. Readers will be able to see themselves as Jack, navigating this unexpected journey to Earth.
With the stage set and our hero on Earth, Ted and Rachelle move the story on to Journey to the Silver Towers.