"The Only Ones"

What Happens When All the Grown-Ups Disappear

The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer Martin Maple lives on an island with his father where they spend their days tinkering with a machine that Martin’s father promises will bring them a better life. When Martin is ten, his father leaves the island, promising to return before his eleventh birthday. Yet, two years pass and no one, not even summer vacationers, returns to the island. Finally, Martin leaves the island to discover Xibalba. Pronounced Shi-balba, Martin discovers a town with forty other children and teens, discovering that no other people are left on the planet. On "The Day," everyone else vanished. Each child or teen possess some unique skill or talent which they offer to the community as his or her job. Nigel, the local prophet, explains to Martin that his father's mysterious machine will save them all. This is Martin's job. Along with the help of several other Forgottens, Martin recreates a giant version of the machine. A series of harrowing events may prevent the group from discovering the true power of the machine, but too much is at stake to give up hope.

Author Aaron Starmer weaves an enchanting tale full of mystery and magic. The novel includes moments of gentle humor that contrast with despair and sadness creating a perfect balance. Be advised that there are some violent scenes which some may deem ill-suited for younger audiences. However, the characters are well developed and engaging for readers young and old.  Full of adventure and suspense, The Only Ones has potential to appeal to many readers.