Once a year, blood-thirsty astrorses land on Earth's farming moon to raise their young. Jedediah Easton never thought twice about competing in the Astrorse Races until his daughter Sage enters to try and save his farm. The only problem is Sage is a paraplegic rider, and Jedediah will do anything to protect his daughter.
Drawn to him for safety and financial problems of her own, Jedediah's estranged wife steps back into the life they tried to build together. A warrant for her arrest hangs over their heads. They race time to train a wild astrorse to compete for the winner's purse while dodging the dangers of an uncivilized universe.
Together, they must fight for what matters to them most – a chance that the Astrorse Race prize money will redeem their debts and grow them back together as a family. To The Moon And Back is a fast-paced story of hard work, reconciliation, and second chances.
This is the first book I have read by Scrogham and I enjoyed it. It is a surprising combination of science fiction and western. It took me a little while to understand the future setting of old fashioned cattle farming on an earth moon crafted for that purpose (I think). The rough life of ranching is contrasted with the elegant life of many in the futuristic world.
I have mixed feelings about the characters. Jed is a tough farmer and seemed to be harsh in his expectations when his estranged wife returns to him. I was amazed that his wife, Elizabeth, put up with him and I could see why she left him before. The relationship between the two certainly highlighted the difficulty of spousal relationships.
Several issues are explored in this novel. The prominent one is the ability of a paraplegic young woman to ride an astrorse, evidence perhaps of Scrogham working with teaching riding to those with special needs. Another issue was the treatment of animals, seen as Sage loves the wild astrorse and treats him with compassion. There are other issues in the novel such as what success really means and employee honesty and commitment.
This is a good novel for readers who like science fiction wrapped in a plot revolving around family relationship issues and a dangerous race. You will also find a very clear presentation of the gospel in this interesting and engaging novel.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Sydney Scrogham was born and raised in Virginia and has always loved books. She grew up in the Shenandoah Valley and printed her first chapter book at home when she was 11 (and illustrated it herself). She moved to Indiana with her husband, the love of her life, and has been a horse owner for 14 years. She is a CTRI horse instructor, teaching horseback riding lessons to individuals with special needs. She now lives in northern Alabama. You can find out more at https://sswriter.com/.
Independently published, 290 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the author. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)