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Status Quo

Mark Rosendorf

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Penumbra Publishing

Published : 2013

Copyright : Mark Rosendorf 2013

ISBN-10 : PB 1-938758-17-X
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-938758-17-1

Publisher's Write-Up

College student Alexander Copeland worked as an assistant for astronomer Gordon Maxwell. Alex was offered the opportunity of a lifetime – to join a small civilian crew and travel to outer space to investigate a mysterious wormhole presumed to have been created by an alien species. But the top-secret government division sponsoring Dr. Maxwell’s research abruptly cancelled the expedition and closed down the entire project.

Seven years later, twenty-five-year-old Alex, working as a New York inner-city junior high school science teacher, is contacted by the same arrogant government project director who tells him the original space expedition has been revived. Alex is offered a seat on an advanced space shuttle christened Status Quo, set to go through the wormhole. But Alex is immediately suspicious. After seven years, why is the project suddenly on again?

Alex’s new shipmates only add to his anxiety. Sara Maxwell, gifted daughter of the late Dr. Maxwell, has spent the last seven years in a mental institution. The ship’s pilot is a teenage boy whose only flight experience is on a simulator. The pilot’s mother, also chosen as a crewmember, is supposedly psychic. The ship’s doctor is a novice who wants nothing to do with the mission. A troubled teenage girl on the brink of suicide is also accepted as part of the crew. There’s even a convicted murderer and a cat aboard. Absolutely no one chosen for this mission has any sort of astronaut training or experience. And worst of all, the project director’s agenda appears to be making sure that the ship and all aboard never return to Earth.

It’s a conspiracy that leaves these lost souls stranded in a strange galaxy with a damaged ship surrounded by threats both human and alien. Even if this group worked together and managed to survive, could they – would they – return to the uncaring world that sent them to space to die? With the alternative looking exceedingly grim, the journey of Status Quo seems doomed. Or is it?

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Molly Martin (310318) Rating (9/10)

Review by Molly Martin
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 9/10

Mark Rosendorf’s Status Quo introduces The Reader to a number of intriguing characters.

When the top-secret government body funding astronomer Gordon Maxwell’s research into a mysterious wormhole withdrew its support; the lab was abruptly closed and the research staff including Dr. Maxwell’s intern college student Alexander Copeland suddenly found themselves out of a job.

Seven years later Alex, now a junior high school science teacher, is more than a little nonplussed and is wholly suspicious when he is contacted by the same self-important governmental operative who closed down the research appears at his school.

The project is being resumed, and Alex is invited to part of the team.

During the time the research was first conducted; Dr Maxwell had sent a probe through the wormhole in hopes an answer would come back to earth from whatever entity must have formed the worm hole. Now after nearly a decade the probe has returned.

Soon Alex and a diverse crew find themselves nearing the wormhole aboard a space ship in search to locate the home of whatever beings who must have formed the wormhole.

Aboard ship is a youth with no flight experience to pilot the craft, a life prison inmate who murdered a man with his bare hands, a female psychic recently widowed, Dr Maxwell’s daughter who has spent the past seven years in an asylum, Dr Maxwell has died during the intervening time. Alex, his adopted daughter and his cat as well as an ill prepared medic who has extensive medical prowess according to his test results and the government director round out the unlikely crew.

It doesn’t take long before Alex and the others realize little is as first appears. The trip becomes a life and death struggle before they puzzle out what is really afoot.

Travel through the wormhole, facing the perfidiousness of their situation, concern regarding the sturdiness of their space vehicle and hoped for return to earth, meeting the entity who did create the wormhole, making a life changing decision all are found on the pages of Status Quo.

I enjoyed reading this offering by writer Rosendorf, unlike his Rasner Trilogy, Status Quo is a fantasy/sci fi written for the middle grades and older Reader.

While the narrative is fanciful; it is a joy to read. The fast paced tale keeps the reader turning the page. Peopled with a psychic who calls upon her experience as a Mom when caring for an injured crew member when the inept intern sent as medic aboard the flight has no clue what to do; The Reader begins to unravel the mystery underlying the tale.

Characters are well fleshed, the teens, Eve’s son Brandon and Alex’s recently acquired adoptive daughter Gilda, talk and behave as do many teens I have known during my years as a public school teacher. Eve and her digital camera as well as her mothering nature is a fun, easy to like character.

Max, Alex’s cat is one of my favourites, he behaves as cats do, screeches, wails, hides, and snuggles. Alex is both smart and at times a little overwhelmed with the situation in which the ‘crew’ find themselves. Ernie, the gentle murderer, is a pleasant, clear thinking individual. Reynolds, the government operative is easy to dislike.

I like that Writer Rosendorf adds enough details to clearly describe people, places, and all.

Target audience is middle grade and teen readers; I am happy to recommend for the home and school library. I think the book will appeal especially to the target audience, and for anyone who enjoys a well written, page turner offering more than a little twist and turn, mystery and even a little gentle romance.

Teen language at time is a tad gritty, but fits the narrative.

All in all a very enjoyable read! I would like to see a sequel with more of these characters and situations. Absorbing Read… Happy to Recommend.
Molly Martin (31st March 2018)

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