Hi everyone! I hope your week is off to a great start and that you have been able to read some good books lately. Today I will be hosting a stop on the “Space Academy” blog tour, presented by Rachel’s Randomness Resources. This is my second tour with Rachel and my third tour this month!
It’s the year 2100. Earth is dying. A young woman, Elsie, has risked everything to get her newborn son, Will, aboard ‘The Mayflower’ – a spaceship that will transport a select number of people to a new planet they can call home. Elsie’s luck takes a turn when she discovers the captain of ‘The Mayflower’ is an old friend. He allows her to board with her son, giving them a place on the luxurious Floor One, where they live amongst the most honoured of ‘The Mayflower’s’ passengers.
Thirteen years later, and Will is ready to start school at Space Academy, an institute specialising in subjects such as Alien Studies, Technology, and Rocket Control. While a pupil there, Will starts to uncover secrets about his father’s death, becoming wrapped in a mystery that he and his friends must solve if they are to have any hope of saving humanity from the threat that lies in wait.
Lose yourself in this brilliantly addictive novel as it takes you on a journey through the stars. But be warned – you might be surprised by what you find.
Author Bio – In 2017, Hannah Hopkins released a self-published novel entitled ‘The Split’; the story of four teenagers navigating life after Earth as they journey through space to a new planet. Two years later, the book was picked up by ‘The Conrad Press’ and re-vamped as ‘Space Academy,’ with a new cover, new title and new additions to the story. ‘Space Academy’ was released in 2020, kickstarting Hannah’s career as a writer.
Hannah is currently busy writing a historical fiction novel with a feminist twist. She spends the rest of her time working at a University and caring for her two young children in the UK.
Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/hannahhopkinsauthor
Extract from “Space Academy” by Hannah Hopkins:
The sensation of cold air smothered Will’s face and body as he realised with a jolt that he was outside. He bent over to catch his breath, disorientation causing his head to spin.
He looked at the solid concrete beneath his feet in disbelief. Just moments ago, he had been at the top of the Ivory Tower, miles and miles from the ground. There was no way he could have survived a fall from that height. It was impossible, and yet, there he was, all in one piece.
Will turned around, searching wildly for the mirror he had run through, but it had disappeared completely. He staggered backwards as his surroundings came into focus and the understanding of where he was dawned on him.
He was standing upon a street flanked with red-bricked houses, their tiled rooves forming perfect triangles that pointed into the sky. Cars of various makes and models sat in driveways decorated by flowerpots and protected by thick, metal gates. The road was lit up by a combination of yellow street lamps, and the pale moon shone ghost-like over his head. He had paid enough attention in History to know why the scene was so familiar to him. He was on Earth.
The wind blew coolly around his face, and he hugged himself tightly to shelter from its sharp bite. There was a crisp freshness to the air that he had never experienced before, and he inhaled deeply, his lungs filling gratefully with the clean, unfiltered oxygen.
After a few seconds, his head began to steady itself, and he began seeking a reasonable explanation for what had happened. The mirror must be some kind of teleportation device, he concluded, and Mr Krecher must be making secret trips to Earth without anyone knowing.
He was certain that the footsteps he had heard before he fled belonged to Krecher and knew it wouldn’t take him long to realise there had been an intruder in his office. Will could only hope Krecher would put two and two together quickly, rescuing him before he became stranded on the desolate Earth forever.
He glanced around the street, hoping to find himself alone. The people who had been left on Earth after the Split were referred to as ‘Forgottens,’ and Will had heard enough about their volatile and violent nature to know he would be in danger if he were to encounter anybody in the dark of night.
With a sudden twinge of panic, Will activated his personal device, desperate to call someone for help. To his dismay, he found it completely useless, the batteries having deactivated following his arrival. In an attempt to calm himself, Will tried to picture his mother’s face, promising himself it wouldn’t be long until he saw her again. He imagined telling her the story of his plight; her horror at his plight turning swiftly to relief that he had made it out unscathed. He kept this in his mind as he walked down the street, assuring himself it wouldn’t be long before he was found and brought back to the Mayflower.
The sound of footsteps behind him made him jump, and he realised he was no longer alone. A woman had appeared from a side street a few yards in front of him, a thick winter coat and scarf drawn around her body to protect her from the cold. She had her back to him, but Will could see her chestnut brown hair billowing out behind her as she moved.
Something about the woman’s way of walking was familiar to Will, and he knew instinctively that she wasn’t a threat. Deciding she would be his best chance for help, he pursued her, calling after her as he ran.
‘Hello!’ he shouted, slowing to a halt as he levelled with her. ‘Excuse me!’
The woman did not stop or slow down, continuing to stride forward so quickly that Will could not see her face. Desperate for her attention, he ran in front of her, jogging backwards to keep up with her pace. A gust of wind blew her hood back, and Will froze with shock, realising the face of the woman was the very same face that he had pictured just a few seconds earlier. It was the face of his mother.
‘Mum!’ Will cried, a mixture of euphoria, confusion and fear convulsing through his body.
Much to his distress, she still did not stop, speeding past him as though she were oblivious to his cries.
‘Mum!’ Will yelled. ‘It’s me!’
She walked faster still, his words having no effect on her whatsoever.
‘Mum?’ he faltered, beginning to fear something was wrong.
He ran after her, reaching out to grab her coat, but his hands slipped through the material as if there was nothing there. He reached out to grasp hold of her arm, but all he felt between his fingers was the cold, night air.
‘What’s happening?’ he asked himself, his voice rising in terror as his mind began to race.
His mother was here but she was a ghost, or a hologram, unable to see, hear or feel his touch. He was utterly petrified and confused beyond anything he had ever experienced. He began to wonder if he had fallen and hit his head in Krecher’s office, falling into a coma-induced dream from which he would soon wake. As he continued to try and make sense of what was happening, he followed his mother, instinct driving him to stay close to her presence despite her inability to see him. Even if he was in a dream, he knew his mother would guide him to safety, and so he kept up with her, glancing every so often at her face to reassure himself that she was really there.
Suddenly, they turned a corner, the suburban road they were descending sharply down a hill, giving way to a magnificent view. Will paused for a moment, his breath taken away by the sight. Glorious mountains rose in the distance, their peaks topped with heavy dustings of white snow, which tumbled down the sturdy rock of their faces until it reached the ground. Spanning between the mountains were rolling hills and plummeting valleys, dotted with sheep and a smattering of small cottages. It was a truly beautiful sight to behold.
Returning to his senses, Will continued tailing his mum as she veered into an alleyway, arriving at a vast body of water on the other side that he recognised from his history books as the sea.
Without hesitation, Elsie made her way towards the water’s edge with Will a few paces behind her, stones crunching beneath his feet as he struggled to keep his balance on the strange, new terrain. At the end of the beach, a figure was waiting, his back turned to them as he contemplated the infinite, black surface of the water.
Elsie stopped walking, and for a moment, all was still. Will stood quietly, listening to the soothing sound of waves breaking against the shore. The stars in the sky shone as brightly as they did on the Mayflower, and Will was struck by a sudden understanding of what it meant to live on Earth as he stared at the vastness of space before him and began to feel part of something much bigger than he could comprehend. The feel of solid ground beneath his feet was alien to him, and yet something about it felt right somehow. The humanity in him seemed to pulsate and come alive, the connection to his home planet awakening for the first time.
Thank you so much Rachel for letting me be a part of this tour!