Just a middle-brow reader who loves a good story, recipe or how-to.
Everything I want to say about this novel seems to come with a spoiler attached, so I'll be brief and attempt to avoid gushing.
Guy Erma is an action packed science fiction tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Starting with a compellling prologue, which introduces an alien race of shape-shifting telepaths, the Zaracans, along with cybernetic insects and a taste of the politics to come. Within the first two chapters we are introduced to Guy Erma and Prince Teodor, thirteen year old humanoid boys from very different classes on the planet of Freyne 2. While the exposition of these chapters slows the pace temporarily, it picks right back up when the prince is kidnapped (not a spoiler, this was in the book description) and from there on the story is filled with action and tension.
When the prologue ended and the main story began, I was disappointed to leave the character of Karl Valvanchi. I would gladly have read a complete novel of Karl's exploits. It was therefore quite gratifying to find that he was later brought into the main storyline.
What Sally Ann Melia has done with this nominally YA novel is mix the politics, adventure and characters in such a way that it can be enjoyed by younger and older readers, male or female. This is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a well plotted and well written Sci-Fi/Fantasy adventure that has the satisfying ending of a stand-alone novel, despite being the first in what will be a series.