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“Although I am clearly not in the target audience for Middle Grade literature, I do enjoy it! I was excited when approached with the opportunity to read the StarPassage saga…Book Two, Heroes and Martyrs is a great tale of overcoming trials, epic ventures, and lessons in life and faith.…The premise of this story is really entertaining! There is a good combination of time travel, history, and faith, which made for a fun but meaningful tale…I really liked the characters of StarPassage 2…Tim was my favorite…He was such a good friend! He also made me wish I had a big brother like him. Overall, this was an enjoyable read…I actually think a lot of YA fans will also like it, especially if they like Christian literature.” (Kelly, February 2018, Amazon Review)
“…I really enjoyed reading this and was most happy that it ended with a peek into the next story. I look forward to reading that one, too.” (Diana Perry November 2017 https://www.storymonsters.com/smi-book-reviews/volume-4-issue-11-november-2017?rq=starpassage)
“Filled with intrigue with a blend of science, fiction, fantasy, historical and faith all mixed in this is another great book. I don't have children if I did I would encourage them to read these two books, I will be recommending them to all ages in my life.
Again I am thankful to have the opportunity to review both of these books by Clark Burbidge and look forward to his next book” (Tina October 2017, Amazon Review)
"I love to read but rarely get the chance being a single mom of three. Now that two of my kids are in school full days it has created a lot more quite time and I have been able to read again which has been nice. I had the opportunity to read, review and include a couple great books… StarPassage Book One and Book Two. Book One: The Relic is the beginning of the StarPassage series…It is a must read and would be great for any teenage kid! Book Two: Heroes and Martyrs is also a really great read and a perfect sequel...The Relic sets the stage for the entire series and book two takes Martie and Tim on a whole new adventure trying to help…two brothers from another struggling family. Martie and Tim must use the Relic to solve the mystery to bring this family back from the brink of destruction. They go through riddles, experience good and bad parts in history, have to escape from the threat of a Tracker and must save lives in this crazy, full of adventure book! These are both great novels and it is a fun and exciting novel series that will both make great gifts for your teens...” (www.tiffanyreviews.com 2017)
“‘Just remember, this may be tough, but easy isn’t always good.’ (p.89) The second book in the Star Passage series delivers another homerun! …I think the complexity of the stories will only grow and develop in fantastic ways. Clark Burbidge has created a young adult series filled with action, adventure, faith and a bit of history for good measure. This is a novel that is hard to put down! I can’t wait to see what happens next!” (http://berlysue.blogspot.com/2017/08/star-passage-book-two-heroes-and.html)
“…I enjoyed this book…I am proud to share these books with my nephews. Not only because these books are good reading but they also have lessons that they can learn from. I can't wait to get my hands on the third book...The author really brings to life rich characters and great storylines in his writing.” (http://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/2017/08/starpassage-heroes-and-martyrs.html)
“I have a guest reviewer for this gem of a book. My 13yr old son Kenneth. He was so excited to get the second book in this series. He loved book 1 The Relic. I really liked this book , the book talks about how to help someone with , PTSD. It was cool how it teaches but it entertains at the same time…Overall I loved it. It was entertaining and fun to read. It kept my interest from the beginning to the end. I so hope Mr. Burbidge kept writing he has a fan in me for life.” (Kenneth)
“As a mom review, this was a wonderful book and it kept Kenneth's attention like nothing else. I think he even stopped playing his Xbox to read it…Thank you Clark for writing such an amazing adventure that teaches so much.” (GypsyBelle and Kenneth Amazon Review August 2017)
“This book surprised me in the best way…I felt that every single aspect of the book had been improved upon through the transition from the first book to Heroes and Martyrs…As a result, I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it highly.
StarPassage: Heroes and Martyrs begins with the characters Bobby and Mike finding themselves in a life-changing accident, which has devastating impacts on them both…This initial premise for the story was a really interesting and engaging way of beginning it, and unlike with so many other sequels, I was so glad to find that Burbidge had launched straight into the action as opposed to spending tedious chapters discussing the events of the previous novel. This was much appreciated from a reader's point of view! The character development in this story was something I also really appreciated…I particularly enjoyed reading about Bobby and Mike, and how their fraternal relationship evolved over the course of the novel. I found the new characters of Donna and Kathy really interesting to read about, too, and I was very excited to read about them later in the novel. I loved the time travel aspect of Heroes and Martyrs. This was something I'd liked in the previous novel, but I definitely found these historical events more engaging to read about. As devastating as those parts were, I thought the scenes from the war and from 9/11 made a great impact on the story, particularly since they were both more recent events. They were written in an appropriate way too, since they weren't overly graphic…yet they dealt with the seriousness of the event and didn't glamourize anything. It also added many interesting characters and plot-twists to the story, which were quite fun to read about…
The thing I think I love the most about the StarPassage books is that not only are they really entertaining stories with great characters and plot-lines, they also act as great teachers for their readers. Dealing with mental health issues, such as PTSD, these novels provide such a great resource for children to relate to with their feelings. Not only do they get an interesting and completely captivating story, they're also explicitly shown how to deal with their feelings and are opened to health issues in a way that makes them less scary and confusing. Therefore, I think these books would be absolutely perfect for children who know somebody who has been affected, or have been affected themselves by a health issue, since the StarPassage books explain these issues in a great way for children to understand, all the while providing an amazing story for them to enjoy…I really enjoyed it and I'd love to know what's going to happen next in the series, especially after that cliff-hanger of an ending…I would recommend it to all kids between the ages of 9-14, especially those who have been struggling with some of the issues dealt with in this book.” (http://charlottethebooksniffer.blogspot.com/)
“While we read a lot in our little corner of the world--we do not often find a middle school aimed series that we want to both keep reading and store our read books away on our already-crowded book shelves…Heroes and Martyrs Continues to Blend Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction--and Faith into the Mix. I think I liked the blend of genre present in this book even more than the first…StarPassage is a great series to read as a family, as it offers many topics to discuss and consider--all while entertaining those middle school aged kiddos.
The Author Creates Age Appropriate Content. My girls have always loved fantasy/science fiction. Unfortunately, their reading levels and interest levels have led us to many non-age-appropriate books over the years…I rarely found myself able to pass it off to her after my first read through! The StarPassage series makes me happy. Readers will find minimal violence, no sexual situations or inappropriate themes. The difficult subjects addressed are done so at middle-school-age appropriate levels--and the book is written in a way to hold that middle-school-aged-attention span as well!
Expect to Follow the Series. I love a book that gives me both closure to the current story line and enough loose threads to keep me ready for another book. I enjoyed the characters, I enjoyed the stories--and I look forward to following some of those underlying, subplots through more books!
Would I recommend Star Passage Book Two: Heroes and Martyrs? I love books that will make the kids ask questions. I love books that offer me the opportunity to follow up a reading with some additional conversation--whether it be about historical topics introduced in the text or those real-world issues present in the book that real-world kids face. This series is well written, well developed and a clean read for families with advanced reading, young middle school aged children. I think I enjoyed this book even more than the first--and I would recommend this book (and the series) to sci-fi fantasy fans--and to parents seeking to engage a child in discussion outside of the book's reading. These books are Christian based--and Faith does play a role; however, I did not find the books to be preachy or "over the top." (http://www.amamascorneroftheworld.com/2017/08/starpassage-book-two-heroes-and-martyrs.html)
“This book is geared toward young adults. Bobby and his brother Mike face a very real problem in life. How do you deal with things that are the result of one poor choice? Not a huge bad choice, but one that people make in their everyday life. I like that the author has created smart characters, who look for opportunities. And they follow the path that is presented to them. The book has religious themes so it provides readers with positive influences in their lives. All of these make this book a good choice as a…summer read for teens.” (http://heidiswanderings.blogspot.com/2017/07/)
“I have always enjoyed the books from Clark Burbidge and his StarPassage series is no different. This series will keep you interested and will pull in young readers from the start, they will not want to put this book down. Burbidge has created a fantastical story that deals with real life situations…I love how Burbidge weaves a story and takes us on an adventure and teaches us something at the same time.” (https://organicshoes.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/starpassage-book-2-heroes-and-martyrs-by-clark-burbidge/)
“If you met the Carsons in Clark Rich Burbidge's first StarPassage book, you'll be happy to know they're back with more adventures…Heroes and Martyrs would make the subject of a good preteen/teen book study. Strong themes of good vs. evil and courage to face adversity are evident in the book. Author Burbidge excels at creating nail-biting suspense throughout the book. Readers can examine the text for many good examples of rising action in the plot and roadblocks aplenty. He caps off the story with a cliff-hanger ending, leaving the reader anxious to devour the next volume that hasn’t yet been written!
Burbidge so skillfully weaves time travel through the story that it almost seems plausible. Readers get authentic tastes of history as the characters witness some of the Airborne invasion of…D-Day 1944, the horrors of the attack on the twin towers on 9/11, and the fiery cataclysmic eruption of the volcano Krakatoa in 1883. You'll definitely want to read StarPassage:Heroes and Martyrs yourself and have it on hand for middle school and older students to read.” (http://a-little-red-wagon.blogspot.com/2017/08/starpassage-heroes-and-martyrs.html)
“…The stories this author creates are very different from others I've read. He mixes historical facts and dangerous times with time travel and a bit of religion. As odd as it sounds, it works…” (http://bkfaerie.blogspot.com/2017/08/starpassage-book-two-heroes-and-martyrs.html)
“This story will keep you captivated and intrigued and looking forward to how the story goes. These characters are real as you and I. I am thankful to have been able to review this book and I am looking forward to what Clark Burbidge writes again. A great book!!!” (Tina, October 2017, 5 Star Amazon Review.)
"Great Blend of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Historical Fiction...This series opener made me happy, as a mom, on many levels! It added in doses of realistic, historical fiction settings and kept the fantasy/sci-fi realm of interest alive at the same time. Just as the kids learn mythology from Percy Jackson--they have a great opportunity to dig deeper into historical times with StarPassage.
The Author Writes Well for the Intended Age Group--but, Parents Can Read Too! It is not always easy to create a series that both the kids and the parents can read without being bored or confused (on either end of the age spectrum.) The author has a great writing style for the middle school aged audience--but, makes the content complex and interesting enough that parents can read as well.
Readers will Want to Follow the Series. The book's ending leaves enough to pull readers into the 2nd book of the series...There is enough resolution to satisfyingly end the first book--yet leave some threads dangling for book two!
Would I recommend Star Passage Book One: The Relic Book? I think this is a wonderful book to encourage the kids to visit or revisit some history-themed topics..." (www.amamascorneroftheworld.com 2017)
“I have always thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Burbidge’s books! He takes the time to weave history into each adventure and then applies it to the main characters in the moment. This particular book deals with PTSD: how to help family members through it and five self-care techniques to stay strong and secure. The book targets young readers, but this Momma couldn’t put it down herself! I appreciated his attention to detail and how he weaves love for one another and self-care throughout the book…I would recommend these books for anyone! Read them together as a family and then take some time to talk about the issues and advice the book contains to draw you close together.” (http://maryhess.com/book-review-star-passage-book-two/ July 2017)
“The book is definitely Christian, but the religious elements aren't really forced, nor are they so strong that a non-believer wouldn't be able to enjoy the story. Worst part of the book? The cliffhanger at the end…but thank goodness that the author is planning this to be a trilogy so I can find out what happens!” (http://motherhood-moment.blogspot.com/2017/08/book-nook-starpassage-book-two-heroes.html)
“ ‘Maybe God is more interested in the choices we make and how we behave during times of trial or when something bad happens. Maybe it’s the tough times that bring us closed to Him if we keep our heads on straight.’ (p. 73)
“There aren’t many authors who are able to write a young adult novel filled with nail-biting, Indiana Jones type adventure AND the truth of the gospel all at the same time! BUT Clark Burbidge is one such author. I have read previous work, and Star Passage just topped that!! This is truly an adventure from the very first pages, and the adventure is set in a very realistic family struggle that many families will relate to on several different levels! Truly, this is a young adult novel that needs to be in every family library!...I love the way the author chooses to highlight a particular gift – the love of history, the thrill of searching for treasures in old junk stores – as a door to healing for each family member. As the adventure unfolds, each member of the Carson family is called to make the choice to sacrifice for one another in order to restore what has been taken from their family. In doing this, they each come face to face with their Creator God and are prompted to turn to Him in faith for their very survival!” (http://berlysue.blogspot.com/2016/09/star-passage-by-clark-rich-burbidge.html)
“I recently had a chance to review a unique book, Star Passage - Book One, The Relic… It's an interesting concept, one that involves time travel, excitement, danger, and emotional reconciliation. It kept me turning pages to the end, to figure out where the author was going with the story. I like the fact that PTSD and depression were central to the book - it helps to break the stigma of talking about mental illness to have them so prominent in a young adult novel!” (http://motherhood-moment.blogspot.com/2016/09/book-nook-star-passage.html)
“I'm a huge fan of Clark Burbidge and this new series did NOT disappoint! As a big history buff, I was super stoked to find that this story line takes the reader from the present to the past as one family searches for answers that will help heal them, restore hope and bring them back together. Mr. Burbidge excellently weaves the storyline seamlessly throughout the pages drawing you in from the first sentence. Although this book is geared for a younger audience, this 45 year old Mom absolutely loved it and can't wait for the next book! Now that I've selfishly read it through, I will pass it on my daughter to read. . .” (Mary 2016 5 Star Amazon Review)
“Part adventure, part historical fiction, and part inspirational literature, The Relic did not disappoint this middle grades teacher. Clark Burbidge weaves an alluring tale of the Carson family as they travel through time with the help of a mysterious relic…As the tale unfolds, the reader discovers that this is just one relic in a set…from Orion's Belt. The other[s]…grant the travelers special powers to aid them on their journeys…I cannot wait to share this book with my students. It is a story worth sharing and should be a perfect read aloud for middle grade students. It is a novel suited to discuss the literary element of theme. The clear cut good vs. evil, faith will see you through, among others, makes it especially appealing for use in parochial/Christian schools. Because of its rich historical content it is particularly appropriate for comparing/contrasting with informational texts…And finally, the well-crafted plot lends itself to a study of conflict and the elements of rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Burbidge's previous series for this age group, Giants in the Land, and it looks like StarPassage promises to be as good or better!" (Angela July 2016, Amazon Review)
“This is a good novel for middle grade students. The characters are empathetic. Students will be able to identify with their problems. One of the major themes of this story is the problem of PTSD, how disruptive it is and how to understand and cope with it. The author portrays the father's struggles in a sympathetic light that will resonate with teens.
Another plus for the story is the historical background in the time travels. It's a good way for teens to get a feel for history. The story has a Christian background that would work well in a church school. It would also make a good read aloud experience for parents and children.” (Nancy July 2016 Amazon Reviews)
“…If you like adventure mixed with history, the unknown and a splash of inspiration, you will enjoy The Relic. After a great ending, I had to read the Epilogue. Something new is about to happen! ...” (Dell August 2016 Amazon Reviews)
“…I'm no expert, but in my opinion, this book would be fantastic for children who know someone suffering from a mental illness such as PTSD or depression. I loved the way these illnesses were portrayed throughout the course of the book, and I actually think reading this would be a great alternative to factual books for children as it would allow the readers to have the ability to relate themselves to the characters within StarPassage so they can understand what is normal to feel and can begin to grasp why feelings like this may occur. I honestly thought the plot of StarPassage was brilliant…” (http://charlottethebooksniffer.blogspot.com/2016/08/starpassage-relic-book-review.html)
“Our middle school daughters brought the book on a road trip, sharing it and talking about it as we drove. If you are heading out soon, it’s worth adding Star Passage: The Relic to your packing list.
Award-winning storyteller Clark Rich Burbidge is out with the first book in his new series. Star Passage: The Relic, is part fantasy, part current events, part time travel, part history lesson. It all wraps up in a highly-readable and enjoyable novel that allows the teenagers Tim and Martie Carson to save their family. It’s an empowering story that tells its tale through clues the reader can follow. What makes the story work is the close attention to detail. In his acknowledgements, Burbidge notes, “Getting detail and terminology right is important to the credibility of any work.” With this Star Passage, he certainly does get the details right. He also provides a “Reader’s Aids” page at the books’ end for those who need a primer on Orion’s belt stars.
What’s nice about this novel is it shares so many lessons in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. When you are writing for young adults, you have to remember that they still need guidance, although they loathe the idea that anyone can teach them anything. Star Passage provides lessons about what is really important and how to get there. One of the main characters struggles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Given the number of soldiers returning from combat, people with PTSD is something middle school and young adults will encounter for a long time. The book provides comfort for those who might think they have to endure PTSD alone.
The relic in the book is the device that takes Tim and Martie on their adventures. Of course, any relic that has been used throughout the ages for questionable purposes comes with its own haunted history. This was the part our girls enjoyed the most. They totally bought into the idea that a seemingly ordinary object can have special powers. It fed their imagination and allowed them to go on the adventures with Tim and Martie.
The author’s Christian faith is interwoven throughout the story. It started an interesting conversation with our girls about what we know and what we think we know about faith…as a parent, it is interesting to see how a new story encourages our girls to develop their critical thinking skills.” (http://thechicagomoms.com/2016/08/star-passage-is-a-good-first-book-in-a-new-teen-series/)
“This is great book for pre-teens, teens and even middle school children to learn family values, understanding, tolerance and cooperation. It is a great book for discussion groups to talk about Tim and Martie and what makes them special and how they came to the aid of their parents. It is a great way to explain PSTD and why families need to band together to help someone who comes home from the service and needs support. It would be a great way for a writing teacher to have his/her students create their own adventures for the characters and possibly join in on one holding their own star of passage. Sometimes miracles happen if you believe. Find out what that means when author Clark Rich Burbidge and the Carson family takes you back in time to where it all began. Orion’s Belt: Can you see it? Learn more on page 269.” (https://tillie49.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/star-passage/)
“I am familiar with Mr. Burbidge's work as I read and enjoyed his Giants in the Land trilogy. This new book is no different. I enjoyed reading this one. The way the author helped Tim and Martie relate to their father's PTSD and family problems was creative with the magical star that took Tim and Martie on time travel adventures. I liked that each time they traveled back in time it was to a new location but each place has a specific purpose. Also, there was some history to be learned from the past. So young readers will not just be reading this book but also learning something as well. PTSD is a serious issue and for the author to show that it can be scary but also that as a family united and with trust in God, PTSD can be coped with. The story had a good pace to it, so that I was never bored for one minute. The story ended nicely as a lead into the next.” book. (http://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/2016/07/starpassage.html)