The Captain's Daughters
Beyond the Stars
A cozy family adventure…
Just Reviews, Fran Lewis
A story of betrayals, deceptions, lies, survival, family loyalties, hope, and trust. An ending filled with twists and surprises, and the last few pages will endear you to both sides and bring tears of warmth to your eyes. Characters that are genuine and two girls that are smart and resourceful. This is one story that young teens and middle school children will love to read and learn more about. Author Doreen D. Berger has the makings of a great series if she wants to bring these characters back.
Family Matters in Delightful New Sci-Fi Novel. Uplifting, engaging, and tightly written, The Captain's Daughters is a thoroughly enjoyable, light-hearted read. The characters are believable, the dialogue credible. And just about the time we thought we knew where the plot was headed, wham! Wrong-a-mundo! This agile tale of interstellar adventure and intrigue is as rich and warm as it fresh and original. It's also filled with fantastic settings. Other-worldly creatures. Dastardly villains and stalwart heroes. The story keeps you on your toes and keeps you guessing until the very end. It'll make you feel all warm and smiley inside. Part Star Trek. Part The Twilight Zone. Part The Waltons. And all heart. Highly recommended for upper elementary ages and anyone who enjoys a delightful family-affirming story flavored with fun and topped off with the fantastic.
Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile blog
As it turns out, this was quite a romp through the cosmos! Diane and Robin were feisty sisters, with that bond that I was craving. Even better, William Marsh was an excellent dad. I don't want to spoil anything, but I loved the backstory behind how he became the sisters' guardian. Their love for one another was well written, and I knew that they would do anything to be back together. Which made the tension in this book easier to take, especially since it's written for a younger age group. It was exciting, but there was always that level of "okay" hiding behind everything else. This was a sweet story, that didn't stray too far into topics that would uncomfortable for younger readers. It had great family dynamics, which was a nice addition.
Doreen D. Berger's young adult novel, The Captain's Daughters, is a clever and engaging twist on the theme of kidnapping. The plot originates with a normal, earth-bound experience - horseback riding - and morphs into an interstellar adventure full of danger, espionage, and alternate realities. There are so many imaginative twists and turns that young readers will be enthralled right to the very end. The characters are well developed with lots of dialogue to help establish their personae. The descriptive narrative is well executed and the reader feels instantly involved in the story as the action plays out. A marvelous outer space drama - I couldn't put it down!
Alex the Shadowgirl's Blog, Four-Star Review
The getting-abducted-by-aliens story is a cliché in children's books but this book made it interesting when both the girls land back in their home, meet their grandparents who do not recognize then anymore. Is it time travel? A parallel dimension? A memory-erasure? Read the book to find out. But for me, I found the book to be an easy read. The girls do have the childish tone which will appeal to middle-grade readers and I am glad that the author didn't complicate the book by overusing scientific terms. The relationship between the father and daughters is so heartwarming...The descriptive writing and simplistic dialogues make you keep reading till it's over. Overall, it is a pretty decent book for middle-grade readers. One that teaches you about thinking on your feet and overcoming challenges without being afraid.
Kit 'N Kabookle Reviews
This was a fun and heartfelt story about two kids trying to find their way home. While the tension and potential danger were certainly there, they felt appropriate for the target age range. So the topics seem like they could be too sensitive, they are handled well. The characters felt like real people--from the protagonists to the secondary people who only show up a few times. The relationship between the girls and their father was drawn beautifully…All in all, a great story for all ages. Alternate universes are always interesting, and this is no exception. I'm interested to see where the adventure goes next and definitely recommend giving this book a try.
Baroness’ Book Trove
The Marsh girls are hilarious!
Cassandra’s Reviews, Five-Star Review
The love and overall adventure in the story is great for younger readers but can easily pass time for adults as well. The character build is well thought out. The different styles and scenes create a good balance of light mystery and fun. Great more family friendly read.
Bookworm for Kids
Family love, sibling relationships, alien creatures, and exciting space adventure combine to make an entertaining read and, what seems, to be the start of a new series. This is an easy to read space adventure. The sisters, Diane and Robin, are a little mischievous but have tons of heart. Their love for their father and desire to return home is inspiring, while they face all sorts of high tension obstacles and intriguing creatures. It's well-paced and keeps the reader in the pages all the way through. Imagination flows from every page, which really allows the creatures and worlds to shine. Luckily, readers aren't bogged down with detailed and technical descriptions, but each science wonder flows at an age appropriate level. I enjoyed diving from one situation to the next with the girls and seeing how they got out of each situation. What I really enjoyed, though, was the lovely family relationship they shared. The love is impossible not to see, but then, some of this comes across better because of the inclusion of sections written from the adult's perspective. This is a read, which packs tons of space excitement, family love, and tension, which is perfect for this audience.
A tale of action, revenge, and thinking on your feet, the core of this non-stop adventure celebrates the sacred bond of a father and his daughters that stays strong, no matter what may come...I love good scifi, and this scifi world is incredibly well thought out. This is no slapdash, amateur attempt at a science fiction setting. Instead, the author thought of absolutely everything, from technology to war to cultural differences between species. There is also a strong story of adoption, as Captain Marsh loves and protects Diane and Robin as if they were his own. The ups and downs of family and fatherhood are so real and engaging that I actually forgot I was reading. This bond of family is severely tested, and clearly shows that families don't have to be perfect to be incredible... the epic family adventure of The Captain's Daughters is certain to secure a permanent place on your bookshelf, and in your heart.
Riverdancer, Mary Lanni blog
Nearly three hundred years in the future, humans have conquered space travel and have found comfort exploring the far reaches of the universe. Captain William Marsh commands the preeminent Starship Polaris accompanied by his adopted daughters Robin and Diane. Though the two girls love causing mischief, Captain Marsh would not change their relationship for the world…This middle grade space adventure tells the story of a family united by love in the wake of disaster. It is told from several perspectives, giving readers insight into the feelings of both the twelve-year-old girls and the adults who interact with them. Extensive memories and flashbacks pepper the narrative, giving the readers information about the past that help explain the present. Humor, danger, and adventure guide this fast-paced narrative, incorporating futuristic technology and experiences into the mix. Though this story takes place so far in the future, there are unmistakable inclusions that make it relevant to a modern audience. Most notably, the strong family values exhibited throughout the narrative are universal, connecting the protagonists across space and time. Anchored by the adventure of rescuing Diane and Robin from harm, the story incorporates several moments that define the familial connection the girls share with Captain Marsh. As readers learn more about this futuristic world, they understand the strong emotions felt by each character and build empathy for their parents and caregivers in the process. Blending compelling, space-age technology with familiar emotions, this tale is at once entertaining and accessible. Middle grade readers who enjoy character-driven narratives with a hefty dose of adventure will love getting to know Diane and Robin and look forward to their next story.
Fantastic Feathers blog
The story is wonderful and it focuses majorly on relationships, family values, and love. There are some great scenes about the best parenting behaviors. Marsh is good at both disciplining their daughters and also showering them with love. The girls are adventurous, sometimes turn to trouble makers like any other children. The girls are smart and use their intelligence to escape…but things don't go as planned and they end up in a parallel universe. Whom do they find in this parallel universe and how they return home back is the remaining story. What's great? The story, characters, unexpected twists, and the portrayal of family love.
The Story Sanctuary reviews
The writing style really fits middle grade literature, so I felt like that was really spot-on. I liked that the two girls, Diane and Robin were quirky and fun and full of mischief. The relationship they share with their dad, Captain Marsh, is really sweet, too. Though they’re close with their dad, they’re also pretty independent and free-spirited…I thought it was really cool to see a sci-fi story for middle grade readers. That’s something I haven’t seen done very often, so I think that’s super cool…I enjoyed reading THE CAPTAIN’S DAUGHTERS. The writing style and the fun characters made it a pretty easy read.
I quite enjoyed this multiple-POV, Middle Grade, Sci Fi adventure about Diane and Robin Marsh, two mischievous 12 year-old sisters born eight months apart, who live on the spaceship Polaris with their father, the captain of the ship. At the onset of the book, while visiting their grandparents' ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico with their dad, the girls are kidnapped and whisked away to the far edges of the galaxy. While their father is in pursuit, they rely on each other and their own resourcefulness to successfully escape their kidnappers. But just when they think they've safely made it home, they realize they have a whole new set of problems - no one seems to know who they are! (I really enjoyed this plot twist, as I have not seen in done in any other Sci-Fi books, and thought it was beautifully done.) Despite exploring a potentially traumatic experience, The Captain's Daughters, maintains a light-hearted tone that it's intended audience, children, will assuredly enjoy. Using flashbacks, we learn about the close bond the girls have with their father, their lives on both the ranch and the starship, and discover firsthand why they have such a mischievous reputation…Children (the intended audience) will undoubtedly enjoy the pranks and antics of these two sisters. I would definitely recommend this book, especially for children interested in Sci Fi, living on a spaceship, pranks, sisters, and ranch life.
The novel is a fun, fast space adventure. The two main characters, Diane and Robin are a particular highlight, being both entertaining to read, and as this is a middle grade book, easy for readers to relate to. The creatures and world of the novel really shine and the author put an immense amount of creativity into making the story feel fresh, while also not getting too bogged down by details and descriptions…The family relationship between the girls and their father is really the heart of the story and something readers of any age can appreciate…This is a great book for young readers, as an introduction to the genre of science fiction. It doesn't go overboard with explanations of the science or make those aspects too complicated for young readers.
The Faerie Review
This was a great late middle-grade, early young adult sci-fi adventure. I loved Diane and Robin, the difference in their personalities, and their determination to get back to the family they love. Although there are some aliens and sci-fi elements, there are some that those of us still on earth will find familiar – like the family’s horse ranch. Overall, a story that will captivate your imagination, and keep you turning pages until the end.
The story was thrilling, sometimes funny, and witty to read. The characters were well created, and the Captain’s daughters were clever, making me like the story even more. I like smart kids and believe they induce the story to another level.
The Reader’s Game
The Captain’s Daughter is a novel about sisters who are kidnapped by aliens and taken to a new part of the universe all for revenge on their star ship pilot father. Sounds amazing, right? It was! The conflict was great and the writing was an amusing middle-grade style…The world was fascinating! It was Earth, but more advanced. I really enjoyed The Captain’s Daughter’s and would love to see more books like it in the future! Overall I totally recommend! It was a quick delight filled with spaceships and adventure!
The plot is a fun adventure and has some interesting twists. The writing is really good! I immediately connected with the story and with the characters. The pacing is excellent, and the scenes have a lot of suspense. I laughed several times at some of the funny dialogue! Those girls are so sassy! Diane and Robin are wild little girls! They are always getting into mischief. They are bold, but also sensitive and sweet. I love how intelligent and resourceful they are! Captain Marsh, their father, has a strong personality. He is resolute, which is good since he spends most of his time disciplining his wild daughters. He can come across as too serious at first, but then his sense of humor will shine through. I love his character! I enjoyed this book!
Kayla C. Reviews
The Captain’s Daughters by Doreen D. Berger was a treat to read. I loved how Berger put me right in the scene with her imaginative descriptions, and the technological advancements she included were intriguing. The characters were entertaining, but the girls were especially fun to read about, as witty and resourceful as they were. There was a great balance of drama, adventure, and political intrigue…This is a book I think parents would enjoy reading with their children, especially if they use the situations in it as a way to initiate important discussions, such as about safety, discipline, and respect. Teachers may enjoy sharing The Captain’s Daughters with their students for similar reasons. All in all… The Captain’s Daughters was a rollicking sci-fi adventure for the whole family.
This author has a splendid imagination, who is just right for entertaining her audience of young teenagers to read into the life of characters Diane and Robin growing up and their adventure. But to say this first novel by Doreen Berger is aimed at young teenagers, I loved it, because I could fully imagine all of the characters and everything inside the spaceship. This glorious paperback is very easy to read, with wonderful exciting 36 chapters of adventures, and fantasy.
A light interplanetary adventure with a mild Starfleet-esque flavor.
Readers' Favorite, 5-Star Review
For those who enjoyed The Captain's Daughters, Doreen D. Berger's sequel, Beyond the Stars, won't disappoint. The plot follows the mischievous sisters as they challenge their luck, and their father's patience, to help a new friend and, perhaps, in the process, save the universe from yet another evil force. Written in the third person narrative, the story is packed with good, wholesome family adventure, bonding, and love, as well as the power and importance of friendship and standing up for those you care for. Take The Waltons on an interstellar adventure and add a little science fiction family drama, like Lost in Space, and you have a compelling and engaging read that will engross the whole family. Light and entertaining, this outer space family drama will engage readers of all ages. I do hope there's another book in the series.
Reedsy, Five-Star Review
Step foot amidst the stars once more alongside Captain Marsh and his beloved daughters in this incredible tale of familial love and heroism. Sequel to The Captain's Daughters, the story of Beyond the Stars is an excellent continuation of the adventures of Diane and Robin Marsh. A sequel to an excellent book is always risky, but Beyond the Stars does not disappoint. I quickly dove once more into the incredible galaxy the Marsh sisters inhabit, and I was thrilled to begin a new journey alongside the intrepid Diane and her tenacious sister Robin. I loved that they still shared such a close bond with their father, tough but fair Captain Marsh, who would fight through an entire universe to protect his beloved daughters. There were familiar faces, such as gentle telepath Gerrol and the courageous Dr. Wells, as well as a host of new characters like kind Jannel and the ambitious Dr. Joanna Ross...The story of family bonds in the face of the greatest hardships shines as brightly as the twin suns of Lasusia in this novel perfect for readers 12 and up who love horses, science fiction, and incredible family adventures. I laughed and cried alongside Diane and Robin, as they search to understand the complexities of life. Seeking to comprehend the emotions inside themselves while fighting to aid their friend, Diane and Robin dig deep to find their inner strength when faced with the fiercest of trials. A story of heroism, courage, and familial bonds, Beyond the Stars is an unforgettable journey through the galaxy to find the greatest treasure of all within our hearts.
Fran Lewis, Just Reviews
…again author Doreen Berger creates a heart-stopping, tension-filled ending to a heartfelt story of three strong-willed girls that can teach everyone the true meaning of loyalty, friendship, unselfishness, love, and bravery…Look up at the dark sky and see the magic it holds and enter your ship and learn and explore for yourself what beauty and more lies beyond the stars. So many lessons for educators, parents and guidance counselors and group or book discussions on family loyalty, understanding, friendship, bravery and trust.
Cassandra's Reviews, Five-Star Review
Tight storyline, interesting characters and still a great family friendly read...Get ready to be absorbed in the bonding love and heroic momentum of this fantasy fun.
Alex the Shadowgirl’s Blog, Four-Star Review
It is a light-hearted tale of interstellar adventure that explains why family and friends matter. Reading about two smart and resourceful girls who manage to be brave in impossible situations can be inspiring!
Bookworm for Kids, Five-Star Review
This is the only series I've run across, so far, which manages to take the wholesome goodness of gentler reads and bring it into a space adventure, and that while adding just the right amount of tension to keep things more than interesting. Diane and Robin are a great pair of sisters, who don't always get along perfectly but have each other's backs, no matter what. The father, although very busy in his position, adores them and offers them quite a bit of family warmth. The relationships are inspiring, and even when the girls don't always behave (they have a knack for getting into trouble), forgiveness and patience is always waiting.
But this story heads in a unique direction, in that the girls and their father zoom between planets and deal with evil plots and difficult circumstances. (Think the goodness of The Brady Bunch in small version and launched into space excitement). Diane and Robin are always happy to bend the rules, especially when it means helping someone. They have good moral compasses and put their heart into their decisions, even when it means making mistakes...plenty of them. The tension definitely mounts to keep the tale grabbing, and there are more than a few moments, when it's unclear if they're going to make it through.
This is a great read for those, who love family-friendly tales, but also enjoy the excitement of heading out into space and taking on evil aliens with deadly intrigue. It's an original mix with tons of goodness, which I can recommend.
Mary’s Reviews, Four-Star Review
This second installment of The Captain’s Daughters series takes place approximately one year after the first book ends…Robin and Diane are becoming teenagers, and their emotions are as strong as one might expect from youth in that stage of their lives…While the primary perspective of the novel is that of Diane and Robin, other characters’ experiences are included, as well, which gives readers some insight into more than one side of each challenge.
Fans of human-centered science fiction novels will find Diane and Robin to be approachable and comfortable, especially for a middle grade audience. The narrative incorporates perspectives of older characters, which enhances young readers’ understanding not only of the plot but also helps them better relate to the adults in their own lives. Through this series, readers observe that even in a time when space travel is second nature, humans experience universally recognizable feelings and life is never perfect. However, through love, respect, and trust, characters learn from their mistakes and move forward in a positive direction together. This is a wholesome and accessible addition to middle grade library collections.
There’s something for everyone in Beyond the Stars. Adventure, intrigue, and mischief. Wry wit. Dastardly villains. Gallant heroes. Sacrifice. Loyalty. Family ties. Friendship. A touch of Ye Olde Planet Earth via the holodeck. Valuable lessons in Consequences 101. Peanut butter. Close calls. Near misses. A red baseball cap. The “barn incident.” A touch of romance. All are expertly tied together in an action-packed plot loaded with heart, originality, and spunk. The author’s world-building skills are also prodigious, filling out entire planets with detailed descriptions and vivid settings. Beyond the Stars is a delightful, uplifting read that’s galaxies of fun! Can’t wait for the next installment from this talented and creative author!