Pullbox Reviews: Star Runner Chronicles: Dark Star, a young adult sci fi series for fans of Twilight

  • Star Runner Chronicles: Dark Star
  • Written by James Watson
  • Pencils by Leo Cordeiro
  • Inks by Carlos Eduardo
  • Colors by Mohan Sivakami
  • Letters by Wilson Ramos, Jr
  • Cover art by
    • Nahuel Lopez
    • Claudia Ianniciello

What if you knew – really knew – that you came from another world?

What if your special abilities pointed you to a unique destiny beyond this world, and opened the door to a galaxy of stars and planets beyond imagination?

This is the premise of the new graphic novel series The Star Runner Chronicles, created by screenwriter James Watson. This new comic series follows the adventures of Aurora Palmer, a normal teenager with secret, unpredictable telekinetic powers she has spent a lifetime trying to conceal. When an alien ship is uncovered in the woods behind her home, a strange surge of power gives her visions of her past and future. She must find out the truth before it is destroyed!

In the tradition of great science fiction, Star Runner Chronicles is about its characters, but with a nod to the latest in astronomical science, including the latest discoveries in exoplanet research. Star Runner is a series with a positive, forward-thinking vision of how far we can go if we develop the best that’s in us.

Aurora’s journey is our journey: understand who we are, where we come from, and what is our ultimate destiny.

If you’ve read a respectable number of science fiction, outsider, fish out of water stories, you’ve seen pretty much all stories that there are to be read. Kurt Vonnegut believed that there are “three core shapes” that form the foundation on which everything is built (check this great video where Vonnegut gives a lecture on the subject). More recently researchers compiled a list of 1,737 stories and fed them into a program that compiled & compared them based on common themes (that study can be found through this fantastic article from The Guardian). The underlying belief is that the concept of original stories comes down to finer details and is more a matter of degrees.

Anyway, all of this leads me to a confession. The Star Runner Chronicles: Dark Star may follow a pattern or template at its core, but that doesn’t make it less than. If there are any fans of stories like Twilight (and we all know that there… just look at the numbers) out there, you are the target audience for this ongoing story being written by James Watson. Following main character Aurora, the reader sees her on a path of self-discovery in Fallen Star as a troubled teen discovering her origins. That first chapter could be seen as Vonnegut’s “Cinderella” story as it takes Aurora from the very low point of being a downtrodden teen in the foster system, to the new school where she finds new friends, and discovers something great about herself. In Dark Star, Aurora is once again put on the defensive as she’s confronted with a new threat, is overwhelmed, and has to discover something greater about herself.

From Watson’s script, the entire artistic team works to elevate the Star Runner Chronicles: Dark Star. The pencils and inks by (respectively) Leo Cordeiro & Carlos Eduardo lay down a solid foundation as they visualize Aurora and her world. Mohan Sivakami puts the polish to that work, fleshing this world out with color & depth. It’s almost an idealized world, full of beautiful people and bright shiny places, and for some that may a little off-putting but it is pretty cool to look at. As the CW has shown us time and again there will always be a place for stories following the 90210 route. Whether or not you’re a fan of that particular zip code, no one can deny there’s a massive following that keeps those crazy California kids coming back to the screen.

My bottom line on Star Runner Chronicles is that there is absolutely an audience out there, looking for this very series of books. As a sci fi adventure aimed at teen readers, it may not have an appeal for everyone. But if you find anything at all interesting in what I’ve said here, you should take a look at the first chapter Fallen Star, the latest entry Dark Star, and the forthcoming Rising Star.

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