Bobby Sterling vs Truth

Volume 1

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
294 Pages
Reviewed on 03/31/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

Bobby Sterling vs. Truth by Alex Mueller is a thrilling YA science fiction adventure. Bobby Sterling was looking forward to a summer playing hockey until his plans quickly change. He's teleported to the moon where he meets Professor Bink and is given the opportunity to attend the elite space school, Apeiron Academy. Now he's learning about flight, dealing with robots, going on missions, and meeting students from around the world. Though he bonds with his new team, Bobby still isn't quite content at the Academy. He knows the school has more to it than meets the eye, but no one wants to answer his questions. Bobby's determined to find the truth, so, turning to his team, he works to uncover the secrets lurking at the school.

Author Alex Mueller takes an ordinary school and adds fun space elements. Even the normal idea of sports takes a twist and includes a hoverboard element. In addition to his new space surroundings, Bobby also deals with friendship, crushes, and a bully. He's just a normal kid who is trying to find his place in the world and gets embarrassed when he's not as good at something as the other students, but it's his very ordinariness that makes him someone easy to relate to. Mueller adds a mystery element to the school as it's not quite clear why the students are actually there. This is what Bobby ends up obsessing over and what he becomes determined to uncover while he and his team are also being sent out on different space missions. Each student gets their own pet, but the pet is also a robot fitted to their personalities, which is a fun element reminiscent of the magical trope where the magic students get an animal to bond with, only with a robotic twist that adds to the impact of these students in space.

The robots and the different helpers around the school are funny and charming additional aspects of the story. Even though they're not technically people, they're full of personality. I immediately adored C.R.A.G., who is just doing its job by taking the bags and lending a hand, but also happens to be clumsy and slightly infuriating. C.R.A.G. is a stark contrast to the bigger personality of Rowdy, who thinks he's a cowboy. Every scene that finds Bobby in contact with a variety of different robots is always funny and delightful. Then Jack-O is all knowing, but speaks in riddles and refuses to answer any of Bobby's questions. His personality adds a fun Alice in Wonderland-like quality to Bobby's adventures. Bobby Sterling vs. Truth finds a normal boy in an extraordinary space school with robots, friendship, and adventure.