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Reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers' Favorite
In the first book of the 'Skymasters Series', "Galaxy Girl", preteen Allie Henderson discovers an intergalactic visitor named Eilla, who looks just like her. She is Allie's galactic cousin from a parallel universe. In the second book, "Under the Universe", things get even more interesting. It has been a year since Eilla returned to her parallel universe and Allie is eager for an adventure of her own. She gets just such an opportunity when the MIT science team tells her they are ready to transport her to Eilla's planet. Allie must then choose between the safety of the known and the potential adventure of another universe. Allie and Eilla visit Stonehenge and discover a subterranean world in which nothing appears as it does on the surface. There they meet a pair of hermit crabs who give them clues into some of the secrets of the universe.
There is much to charm the young reader in this book, including enchanting illustrations. Although this is the second book in a series, the story can stand alone. This is an adventure of inner and outer exploration as the author highlights the thirst for knowledge in this age group, and the cousins absorb facts like sponge. There is just enough space ‘stuff’ and quantum physics for kids to make it fun and adventurous rather than boring. But the adventure is not just about time travel. In both worlds, the girls have a disabled sibling, and author Dr. Karen Hutchins Pirnot handles this with tact and sensitivity. I enjoyed the empathy between the cousins. Allie goes on a learning curve as she discovers the differences between her world and her cousin’s with snippets of geography, history, science, economics and social change, and astronomy filtering through. The author has popped some famous modern and historical names into the mix, with amusing characters that give their own opinion of life. There is a nice blend of facts, fantasy, and legend (Atlantis and Mu). The story ends with more investigation planned and with a hint of danger. My only criticism is that there is perhaps too much information for this age group to absorb.