Book Review: Bounders

by Monica Tesler

back cover:

Thirteen years ago, Earth Force, a space-military agency, discovered a connection between brain structure and space travel. Now they’ve brought together a premier class of cadets, Boudners, to train as elite aeronauts at EarthBound Academy.

Twelve-year-old Jasper might have been bullied back on Earth, but as one of the first Bounders sent to space, he gets to be part of something bigger. He and the other cadets have a blast bunking at the space station, flying jetpacks, and finally connecting with other kids like them.

But soon the cadets discover that Earth Force has been keeping secrets. The Bounders weren’t brought to space for aeronaut training, but to learn a highly classified technology that allows them to manipulate matter and to quantum bound—travel anywhere in the galaxy in an instant, without a spaceship. And that’s not the only secret that Earth Force has been keeping.

When Jasper and his friends find out the truth about why Earth Force needs the Bounders, the have to make a choice: Do they rebel against the academy that brought them together? Or do they fulfill their duties and protect the planet, no matter the cost?

With an alien threat on the horizon, they don”t have much time to decide.


I’m not exactly what the publishing story behind Bounders was, but now it is called Earth Force Rising and is the first book in the Bounders series. I’m not if it was meant to be a series when it was first published.

I didn’t realize that the book was the first in a series until after I finished it. And then a few things made a lot more sense. After all, the story seemed to have ended a little abruptly and the plot seemed more like what one would find in a first book then a standalone. But once I found out that it was the first book, those issues made more sense.

One of my favorite things about Bounders was the world building. In a class I took by C. J. Redwine, she said something alone the lines of that you want to build your world so well, that the reader feels like there would be so much more to discover if they could go beyond what was written on the pages. And Bounders does that. I felt like there was so much more to discover at the EarthBound Academy! (but do I really want to explore it . . . ?)

The main characters were all unique and different from each other, which lead to some fun dynamics in their group.

If you want a novel with mystery, aliens, and action, Bounders fits the bill.

Cautions: brief rude humor

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