by K.J. Kruk
Published on: March 19, 2019
What a fun read this book was! I won Leo Gray and the Lunar Eclipse in a GoodReads Giveaway and was excited to get it because it combined two genre’s I enjoy: middle grade fiction and sci fi.
Leo Gray is the eldest child of two parents who are very ‘unhip’ and do not appreciate the modern things of year 2113 and instead identify more with “old” Earth. Mr. Gray, especially, is very hard on modern life and the government, so that when there is a chance for Leo to enter a government rocket-building contest with the reward of getting a free ticket to go to school in Luna City (on the Moon), Leo’s mom enters him in secretly. Leo does eventually get to Luna City, but not without a few hiccups along the way. Once there he then makes friends with kids from different countries who all have unique talents and together they discover that they must help save Earth and Luna City from those who wish to destroy both.
I loved how fun and interesting this future Earth is. In this story, the future is one of hope and wonder and promising ideas that we currently only dream of. A city on the moon! Robots with personalities! Levitating chairs! Flying go-karts! Life in this future Earth isn’t perfect – there are still bullies and still those with money and those who scrape by each month. So it was a real treat when Leo received his ticket and we were able to experience his trip first to space camp and then to the moon along with him.
Although I did enjoy the overall story, there were a couple of parts that bothered me as a reader. The first was Mr. Gray, Leo’s father, as he unilaterally makes some decisions without consulting his wife or thinking about how it might impact his son. In addition, I was really bothered about how he blamed his son for something that happened to a watch – not because Leo was anywhere near the watch because he was miles away – but because Mr. Gray blamed him for being distracted for a moment when the ‘watch event’ occurred. I thought both events sent the wrong message to a young reader; however, the book did hint that perhaps there is more to Mr. Gray than we were shown so I suspect that future books will show what was really going on with Mr. Gray.
The only other item that concerned me was how long it took for Leo to recover from an event at the very end of the book. The recovery time seemed a bit on the extreme side, but also wrapped up the end of the school year a bit too neatly – like perhaps it was rushed. I would have liked for the story to have been a bit longer so that more could have been explored or drawn out, but here I speak as an adult all the while knowing that these books are written for a younger age than myself and therefore probably shouldn’t be too long.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I found it a lot of fun to read and enjoyed using my imagination and I believe kids will enjoy it too.
One additional note on this book. One recent evening I went to my nephews baseball game. While there, my middle grade-aged nephew not playing baseball sat next to me, saw the cover and thought it looked interesting and then asked if he could read it during the game. He went on to read the first 4 chapters. I even caught him chuckling a few times (I think he found it funny that Leo was described in terms on a specific vegetable).
Thank you to GoodReads, the author, and the publisher for this book and the opportunity to review it.