Announcing The Fresh, Dynamic, Sci-Fi Debut From YA Author Edwin Peng
It isn't every day you read a debut novel that you know will be just the beginning of a successful career, but with Edwin Peng's Star City (Evolved Publishing, December 4, 2017), it's clear from page one that this book is something special. Star City is more than just a world-shaking sci-fi adventure for YA readers, with a dash of romance and a super cool alien race who happens to love blueberries.
From Peng's unique take on human/alien first contact, to his diverse cast of characters, and a protagonist with strong ties to her STEM roots, the book feels lively and well thought out on every level. Eighteen year old Emma Smith is exactly where she wants to be: she's headed to the University of Nebraska with a full scholarship to, and on top of that she's been selected by the U.S. government to participate in an exclusive medical research project.
The project, as it turns out, isn't an average college internship. Emma has been selected as a student ambassador to liaise with the Ba'ren, an alien race that has recently made contact with Earth in order to share medical technology. The project will kick start Emma's biomedical engineering career, as well as give her a chance to interact with this mysterious alien race that she - and all of humanity - are very curious about.
Unfortunately for Emma, her Ba'ren counterpart, Sepporinen, has very little interest in her or humanity as a whole. He is most excited about the opportunity to explore and mine the asteroids of Earth's solar system, but is compelled by his government to take part in the research project. As the two work together, they begin to draw closer, and form a friendship-and perhaps more.
In the meantime, they discover far more is at stake with their project than what their respective governments have let on. Political and cultural clashes between the humans and the Ba'ren intensify, and Emma and Sepporinen must risk everything to help maintain the fragile peace between their two species.
"My hope is that Star City provides pertinent social commentary and challenges the average YA reader's preconceptions while still delivering a funny and exciting story," says Peng. "The most obvious theme of the book is the need for peaceful relations with other cultures. In our increasingly connected world, we must be much more understanding and tolerant of others."
Star City is the best kind of YA - it encourages readers to enjoy the story, and yet think beyond its pages. Fans of Rick Yancey, Melissa Landers, and Claudia Gray Alexandra Bracken will gravitate toward this series, and will be so glad that they discovered Edwin Peng, a debut author we'll certainly be hearing more from. About the Author: Edwin Peng is a fiction author whose writing spans genres from young adult and sci-fi to fantasy, romance and more.
Born in Monterey Park, CA and raised with a steady diet of In-N-Out Burgers and boba tea, Peng decided early on that he was too cool for high school. Instead, he attended California State University, Los Angeles at the age of 13 through the Early Entrance Program.
After a few stints around the country as an engineer, he settled in Nebraska, currently channeling his inner super-villain by performing laser research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Peng has published several scientific journal articles in Applied Physics Letters and Energy & Environmental Science. Star City, the first book of his YA/sci-fi series about blueberry-loving aliens and dirty politics, is his debut novel.