DiscoverYoung Adult Fantasy

Liftoff: Book 1 of the Rayatana Series


Loved it! 😍

Liftoff is an enjoyable, accessible jaunt into a world that, while different, is not so unrecognizable from the current reality.

What begins as a banal, ordinary day becomes the adventure of a lifetime. Amaya is seventeen, newly transplanted to Washington from her previous life in California. Her family has been torn apart, and she has found solace in two good friends who love going to the movies and talking about boys. When their matinee showing is cut short by what feels like an earthquake, the girls are separated, leaving Amaya on a rapidly ascending movie theatre-turned-spaceship with the sexy and mysterious Sol. Moments later, Amaya is thrown across the galaxy, finding herself in the middle of a conflict that has raged for generations. Amaya’s true nature is soon revealed, causing her to question everything she thought she knew; and it is up to her to reconnect what has been torn asunder.

Written as a novella, Liftoff is a short and sweet introduction to Amaya’s world and the complexities of the universe beyond. Bite-sized chapters keep the story moving, launching Amaya into one situation after another as she travels the reaches of space. Though world-building must be done in a relatively short time-frame, it is done in a believable and comprehensible way. Readers will have no trouble settling themselves in this new environment, especially because of the myriad connections to religion and mythology already present on Earth. Light references to Christianity can be found throughout the story, although it is not a pervasive theme. Chaste allusions to romance and moderate violent scenes are also included, making this story accessible to readers transitioning to the young adult genre. Diverse characters and settings give the story a richness that drives the narrative. As mentioned in the Afterward, this story opens many ideas to be explored further, whether in subsequent novellas or in a longer novel.

While the story can easily move into a sequel, however, this first installment has an agreeable endpoint. A glossary of terms introduced in the novella is included at the end of the book, helping readers orient themselves to unfamiliar jargon used in the story. Liftoff is an enjoyable, accessible jaunt into a world that, while different, is not so unrecognizable from the current reality.

Reviewed by

My career has focused on children’s literature, primarily, but I have a love for YA books, too. I began reviewing books in 2015, since which time I have had over 500 published reviews!

I primarily write reviews, but will create video reviews like this upon request:


About the author

Tyrean Martinson, lifelong SFF fan, fenced foil and saber in college, once acted in plays, and then became a teacher and writing tutor, which gives her plenty of opportunity to use Star Wars and Marvel movies as examples, and gesture theatrically when she makes a point. view profile

Published on November 10, 2020

30000 words

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Reviewed by