Asteria Locke’s Fight has just begun...
Asteria Locke has never left her father’s farm on the remote planet of Theron. But in one terrible moment, a surprise attack by space raiders destroys everything she’s ever known. Orphaned and alone, Asteria vows to avenge her father’s death by joining the Royal Spacefleet Academy. . . even if she has to lie to get in.
Branded an outcast at the Academy from the start, Asteria must work twice as hard as the other students to prove herself. But in time, she suspects that the Aristocrats who torment her have more sinister motives than shaming a commoner. They’ll stop at nothing to hide a secret from her father’s past—a secret that could shift the balance of power throughout the entire universe.
Praise for Flight of the Outcast:
"Strickland creates a fast-moving story with plenty of action and a plucky central character, and the series’ next installment will no doubt give more clues as to the nature of an evil conspiracy that involves aliens and a leading aristocratic family." — Booklist
"Good character development and plenty of momentum make this an enjoyable read, but there is clearly a lot more story ahead—this installment ends not with a cliffhanger but an anticipation of action yet to come." — Kirkus
"Strickland’s first in a new space series is that rarest of creatures: well-done Hard Science Fiction Adventure for middle grade readers. Excellent world-building, strong character development, and a swift pace will have fans of the genre eagerly anticipating Asteria’s next year at the Academy." — Voya
Strickland attempts to capture the spirit of the classic Heinlein juveniles with this first book in the Academy series. After an attack by space raiders, 13-year-old Asteria Locke is taken in by a colony of repressive religious fanatics. Using her dead cousin's papers, she escapes and enrolls in the Royal Space Fleet Academy, soon learning that commoners like herself and her best friend Dai are often at the mercy of Aristos, like the bullying, cheating Mastral Kayser. Asteria's struggles against her newfound nemesis and her experiences over her first year of school follow a largely predictable pattern, with early struggles eventually earning grudging respect. She's helped by the mysterious belt she finds among her father's possessions, which enhances her fighting and flying skills. Hanging over all of this is not only her father's death but the resentment among some Aristos over her father's heroic actions during a space battle. Strickland crams a lot into the book clumsy exposition bogs down early chapters and while the pace picks up, the story doesn't offer much to distinguish itself. Ages 9 12.