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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Twelve-year-old sisters, Diane and Robin, set out on horseback for a relaxing ride on the family ranch. They’re home briefly on sabbatical with their father who is Captain William Marsh of the Starship Polaris – the threesome’s home away from home. The Captain is busy finishing reports and allows the girls the freedom of riding out on their own. But when they don’t return as expected, his concerns intensify. Some strange events have been happening in the general vicinity of the ranch and on board the spaceship hovering above the atmosphere. Diane and Robin have been kidnapped by aliens from the other side of the universe, creatures intent on kidnapping young people to sell as slaves. But Diane and Robin are prizes since their father is well-known and not so well-liked by many aliens. Two rambunctious and often challenging tweens, the girls manage to orchestrate an escape, intent on finding and reconnecting with their father.
Doreen D. Berger’s young adult novel, The Captain’s Daughters, is a clever and engaging twist on the theme of kidnapping. The plot originates with a normal, earth-bound experience – horseback riding – and morphs into an interstellar adventure full of danger, espionage, and alternate realities. There are so many imaginative twists and turns that young readers will be enthralled right to the very end. The characters are well developed with lots of dialogue to help establish their personae. The descriptive narrative is well executed and the reader feels instantly involved in the story as the action plays out. A marvelous outer space drama – I couldn’t put it down!