"Ian Quicksilver - The Warrior's Return" by Alyson Peterson.

“Ian Quicksilver – The Warrior’s Return” by Alyson Peterson.

The main character in Ian Quicksilver – The Warrior’s Return is a typical, nerdy kid who blends in at high school in Puckerbush, Nevada. He is barely noticed by anyone, at least until a new girl walks into school. Arianna Hernfeld (or “Ari”) is suddenly the most popular girl in school. Ian just found out she’s the princess of a rival planet, and he only has a couple months to convince her to fall in love with him.

The premise of the story sounds a little unusual (at least for books I’ve read). Picture an entire interstellar community that uses magic instead of science as the basis for travel between stars. The magic felt “sciencey” in many ways, and the story should appeal to fans of both young adult science fiction and fantasy. Even a little awkward teenage romance gets thrown in for good measure.

The pacing of the first two or three chapters of Ian Quicksilver – The Warrior’s Return was a little rough. Peterson quickly found her groove, though, and the story smoothed out pretty quickly after that. I found the magic and political system to be intriguing, as was the dual-reliance system of the two main planets (outside of Earth). It is one of the more interesting settings I have read in a long time.

Watching Ian and Ari as they learn and grow was interesting, too. Peterson built a good relationship between the two characters, and it showed especially well when they hit a few bumps along the way. The author is very good at creating interesting characters with unusual quirks. Even Ian’s foster parents were interesting in their own boring way (you have to read it to know what I mean).

Corbin, who becomes the local high school gym teacher after the previous one decides to suddenly quit, has it in for Ian. He’s a lot more than he seems at first, and I like how Peterson tweaked my emotions with this character. I was constantly bouncing back and forth between hating him and being intrigued by him for the first half of Ian Quicksilver – The Warrior’s Return. This character made me think this book could easily be made into a film.

The small taste of galactic politics given in this book promises to expand significantly in the next book. What we were given here was enough for this volume, and left me wanting to immediately start the next book. Luckily, the sequel comes out in just a few days. Peterson created an interesting universe and populated it with interesting people (and horses—again, read the book).

I found Ian Quicksilver – The Warrior’s Return to be a very refreshing breath of fresh air in a young adult market dominated by doom-and-gloom dystopias and zombies. While there were a couple problems here and there, the story kept me interested enough to pretty much ignore those issues. I found this book great fun, and I strongly recommend it.

Release Date: May 12, 2015 (USA)
ISBNs: 1462116299 (9781462116294)
Publisher: Sweetwater Books / Cedar Fort
Language: English

MySF Rating: Four point zero stars
Family Friendliness: 100%

Content:

Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (brief mention of smoking and beer)
Language: 1 (brief, minor)
Sexuality: 0
Violence: 2 (one battle scene, not graphic, some death, some extreme peril)