Randor’s Moon by J.S. Frankel

Randor’s Moon by J.S. Frankel
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (239 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Randor Delphin, shy teen prodigy, bio-scientist, and total nerd, lives a lonely, orphaned life on the planet of Malloran, a colony of the now-dead Earth. Malloran has been at war with the neighboring world of Falanar, a warrior planet, but their differences will be set aside if aid is given, as a plague of unknown origin has broken out, and only the scientists of Malloran can help.

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Once there, they learn that they need each other in order to survive against the predators of that world, those that are animal, and those more than animal.

Not every hero is brash and bold.

The action-packed opening scene drew me into the plot immediately. Randor was unlucky enough to live in a time and place where war had reached his town. With that being said, he was also lucky enough to be part of a community that banded together in tough times and did everything they could to protect each other. I enjoyed reading about how they responded to the bombing, and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. This was a fantastic introduction to this tale.

There were a few plot twists that I found hard to believe. For example, I struggled to imagine how an eighteen-year-old who had virtually no experience flying a spaceship was given one when his culture was so short on supplies due to the war. Surely they could have spared someone to fly him to his destination since there was a ceasefire happening when he left? There was also a twist related to the plague and Randor’s search for a cure for it. As smart and educated as he was, I had trouble believing that one person could do all of the work on this problem that he did. I’m mentioning these criticisms as someone who loved the premise of this book and really wanted to give it a higher rating. If the sheer desperation of his elders had been explained in a way that made a better case for why they took these risks, I would have happily knocked my rating up by at least another star.

I couldn’t have asked for a more interesting main character than Randor. His shy personality and struggles with making small talk endeared me to him immediately. It’s not every day I read a science fiction novel about quiet, gentle protagonists who act like this, so it’s refreshing when it does happen. Any personality type can be heroic. Seeing what that looks like for those of us who aren’t the life of the party makes me hope that other authors will step outside of the mold and imagine even more ways of being a hero.

Randor’s Moon should be read by anyone who has ever dreamed what life on other planets might be like.


  1. J.S. Frankel says

    Thank you for an honest review! A writer can’t expect five l’il stars all the time, and this was one of those times. I appreciate the feedback, and I’ll try even harder on my next novels.

    –J.S. Frankel

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