Review: The School for Extraterrestrial Girls, Book 1: Girl on Fire

Coming soon the first book of The School for Extraterrestrial Girls.

Tara Smith’s parents are super strict with all their rules and routines, and Tara is a dutiful daughter. Rule #1: No friends her own age. Rule #2: keep her bracelet on, or else. But when she breaks her routine—and then loses her bracelet—she’s in trouble.
Now outed as an extraterrestrial after wielding fire and losing her humanoid form, Tara is captured by the government. She’s given two options: get shipped far away where she won’t be a danger to anyone or stay on Earth and join a school for other extraterrestrial girls like her. Things at the school aren’t easy—especially for the girl whose only friends were textbooks. But Tara’s goal to learn how to control her powers is soon sidelined by the discovery that the people she’s called Mom and Dad all these years aren’t her parents.

There’s a lot o take in in this story, but over the 130-odd pages you get it fed through to you in a way that all fits together well.
There are things left unsaid – best not to give all away in the first book – and they can be put on a back burner while you enjoy this introduction into the school of alien girls.

From the beginning, you know something is off, and it’s only by a freak event (squirrel!) that the carefully laid plans of men aliens start to unravel.

The setting works well, Tara is as new to this situation as we are, so her introduction is our introduction. Her questions are our questions and you can understand why she reacts the way she does. Yes, things could have gone better, but in all this was for the best!

The amount of aliens in this book make the humans the rarity (I have doubts over the headmistress) Nevertheless this is a very human feeling story, with the large different personalities on view – the reactions to situations are really well done.

The variations of the aliens also allows the art by Jamie Noguchi to really show off – so many different species, looking in the background is a lot of fun, and I hope to see some others step up in future books.

The story runs through the different acts really well, with introductions, new introductions, friends and mistakes. Tara’s learning curve is steep here, as she not only has to get to grips with her alien nature, but also the social side of it all.

The finish gives us a quick ending, but not the answer to all questions – as well as teasing fresh problems in the next book.

This was an enjoyable read, especially for fans of Jeremy Whitley’s Princeless and Wasp stories (as I am)

Published by Papercutz, written by Jeremy Whitley and art by Jamie Noguchi, The School for Extraterrestrial Girls, Book 1: Girl on Fire is out on the 18th August here

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