All Stewart wants for his 13th birthday is for his father to sign his application to Space Academy Camp so that he can learn how to be a spacer, like his video hero Val Thorsten was. And like his mother was. Until she died. But his father is on the moon, and it doesn't look like he'll be back in time to sign the application.
When Stewart meets an aging spacer at the Old Spaceport after a disturbing session with his counselor, things begin to change. He is shanghaied to the moon on a secret mission with a pilot he knows nothing about. On the journey, without the help of a brainwashing counelor, fragments of memory around the death of his mother resurface for him until he is faced with the truth.
Michael Daley has created a totally believable future world in space, paying such close attention to detail that the reader is completely able to suspend reality and travel in the co-pilot's seat to the moon.
Though not an avid reader of science fiction, I was rivited to this novel. For me, the setting was an interesting backdrop to the real suspense of the plot: who is this spacer, why does he need Stewart, what is is mission, what really happened when Stewart's mother died, nnd, most importantly, will Stewart make it home?
A great read for anybody who likes a fast paced adventure and coming of age story, spiced with a realistic view of what future space travel might look like.