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“There’s nowhere to hide on the world’s first moon base. After all, it’s only the size of a soccer field.” Yet, this doesn’t stop misfortune from rendering someone missing. With the Moon Base Alpha (MBA) base commander, Nina Stack, nowhere to be found, chaos spawns between the residents on the moon. Spaced Out by Stuart Gibbs is an astonishing novel where the mystery never ends.

At only twelve years of age, Dashiell (Dash) Gibson is the best detective they’ve got. No one on the base has found footsteps darker than he has. While this confounding enigma takes place, an alien from a distant species, Zan Perfonic, remains in contact with Dash. Rather than traveling to the moon in an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO), Zan “thinks” itself to the moon. Zan connects its mind to Dash to project an image of itself before him, but no one else can see it. The only other human being that Zan had come in contact with before was Dr. Ronald Holtz, a brilliant scientist who played a key role in the creation of MBA. Unfortunately, Dr. Holtz was murdered by a fellow resident on the moon because of his contact with an alien. Despite this incident, Zan communicated with humanity again, an action that the rest of its species did not approve of. On the other hand, the people at MBA were beginning to believe that Nina had ventured out onto the lunar surface. Due to MBA’s small size, she could hide nowhere. After discovering more and more clues about Nina’s mystifying disappearance, Dash and the other Moonies began to get closer to unraveling a seemingly never-ending riddle. Once they solved the puzzle, they realized that the answer was hiding in plain sight.

This book reminded me of the Chandrayaan-3 space mission, an Indian rocket sent to the moon recently. Unlike many that have been sent to the moon in the past, the rocket went to the south pole of the moon, a place that is yet to be explored by the human race. This mission is similar to Spaced Out because it shows that humanity is one step closer to eventually creating a moon base in real life, just like Moon Base Alpha (MBA) in Spaced Out.

Overall, Spaced Out by Stuart Gibbs is a spectacular novel that exceeded my expectations. The author did a brilliant job creating this book, and I recommend it to other middle-aged readers around 10-14.

Spaced Out by Stuart Gibbs. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017. Buy the book here and help support Stone Soup in the process!

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