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Heartlight (Adventures of Kate, #1)
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Heartlight (The Adventures of Kate #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  851 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Kate is a teenage girl living with her astrophysicist grandfather in in New England. When her grandfather's research attracts unwanted attention from an otherworldly visitor, he mysteriously disappears. Kate must rush to find him - and the secret that can save the Earth and the entire solar system from annihilation - before it's too late.

"One of the best Science Fantasies
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 25th 2003 by Ace (first published September 1st 1990)
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Abarat by Clive BarkerCoraline by Neil GaimanDays of Magic, Nights of War by Clive BarkerNeverwhere by Neil GaimanThe Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Best strange fantasy
33rd out of 80 books — 96 voters
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleThe Giver by Lois Lowry
Best Intro to Sci-Fi for Young Readers
315th out of 674 books — 835 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,124)
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Jan 26, 2013 Kaila rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2013
Saccharine and boring and convoluted. Do not read unless you are a 12 year old girl, and even then, with discretion.
Ginette González
Jul 06, 2015 Ginette González rated it liked it
Disfruté la travesía de la joven Kate en una novela fuerte en ambientación, especialmente en los variados ambientes físicos que se van presentando, muy imaginativos y sorprendentes, siempre detallados con color e impacto.
Es una historia de redefinición de conceptos en una Kate preadolescente que pronto tendrá su propia metamorfosis. Sin duda todos los eventos a punto de vivir marcarán su perspectiva de la vida como adulta.
Hearlight introduce al lector y a la heroína en las posibilidades de otro
Michael Montgomery
May 24, 2010 Michael Montgomery rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I read this book in fifth grade because it sounded interesting and it was written by a great author I was following at the time, T.A. Barron. I remember how I was engulfed in it and read it in five days (considerably a short time for me back then) and how I stayed up turning page after page. I think I enjoyed it so much because it was my first step into a genre I had never read before: science fiction. The ideas of space, physics, aliens, and a bit of humanity have to be included in a science-fi ...more
Apr 29, 2013 Zooheather rated it really liked it
I read most of Barron's early books when I was in Elementary School and Junior High (I still remember trying to memorize the ballad in his book The Merlin Effect, and how excited I was when I read that there were actually going to be two more Lost Years of Merlin books!). Lately I've been on a kick of rereading some of the books I read as a kid.

I loved the story all over again! Why not believe in fantastical things? And I appreciate that Barron embraces death in his books as well. This time arou
Jan 23, 2015 Lena rated it it was ok
This book is pretty stupid, but the second book in this series was my favorite book in the 6th grade, and I just realized it was a trilogy. Luckily, it's not a series that requires you to read any of the other books; so, my 6th grade self did not suffer from not reading this book. Unfortunately, my adult self did.
Jul 13, 2014 Christina rated it did not like it
Made it about halfway through. May be more enjoyable for a younger, less-read audience. I found the "science" ridiculous and the writing over-wrought.
Elizabeth Cisewski
I would actually give this book a 3.75 for a few reasons. I thought that the plot for this book could have been interesting, but the way it was written, I think that it could have been better. It was a touching story but got quite boring in many parts of the book. I was reading that book and thinking about what I thought of it, and what I would rate it. I was thinking that I would give it a three, then came the ending. The ending definitely made it a better book, not the ending to the plot but t ...more
Kat Brownell
May 01, 2015 Kat Brownell rated it did not like it
I am distressed by how bad this book was. The Ancient One was one of my favorite books as a kid and I read it over and over, so how can this book be so terrible? It probably deserves 2 stars, but I took away another star because it kept shoving religion down my throat. Which I find particularly jarring in a book about interstellar travel where none of the characters have ever heard of religion nor god. Also, the plot was exactly like that of A Wrinkle In Time (another of my favorites growing up) ...more
Mar 20, 2010 Freya rated it it was ok
I was disappointed by this book because I like other T.A. Barron books - although there's some imagery and great lines "a person's life should be like a prism: inhaling light...exhaling rainbows," the book as a whole fell flat for me. Definitely geared towards a younger reader who might appreciate it more. To me it just seemed like the point of the book was made early on and the rest of the book just supported the point over and over and over again to the point where I was a bit bored.
April Brown
Jul 20, 2012 April Brown rated it liked it
Shelves: teen, fantasy
What ages would I recommend it too? – Twelve and up.

Length? – Two day’s read.

Characters? – Four primary characters.

Setting? – Fantasy, alternate dimensions.

Written approximately? – 1990.

Does the story leave questions in the readers mind? – Yes. Confusion. Was the story a dream, or not? It would be fine if it is.

Any issues the author (or a more recent publisher) should cover? Clarify confusion.
Jul 31, 2011 Alison rated it it was ok
I came back to this after having read it in elementary school, excited because it was the prequel to the Ancient One, which my fourth grade teacher read aloud to my class. However, on coming back to it, I have to say Kate is mostly just annoying, and these books are less magical than I remembered and a *lot* wackier. Like, Charles Williams wacky. Suffice to say I did not bother to finish my re-read.
Sep 23, 2010 Indi rated it did not like it
This book may have been written in the style of CS Lewis, however it lacked his excitement and passion. This novel was a bore, a couldn't finish it because of the old-style language that is totally different to today's, which made the book seem implausible and saccharine. When the storline got bizarre i gave it up. Sorry, try it if you want... but beware...serious snore value.
Sep 12, 2010 Annie rated it really liked it
Shelves: revelry, teaching
Although the book's theme of the role of death is a somber one, the writing is not. That's partly because of the attendant theme of love conquering all. The book has elements of physics, metaphysics, adventure, science fiction and fantasy, broadening its appeal to many audiences. Even the author recognizes similarities in plot to Madeleine L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time.
Adam Bruns
Jun 06, 2013 Adam Bruns rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure about reading a book from an author I never heard of before, but decided to take a chance. Strangely it was shelved under Child Fiction at my public library, but I think people of all ages will like "Heartlight." If anyone has ever read C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra), "Heartlight" follows that science fantasy tradition.
Amy Yam
Feb 07, 2013 Amy Yam rated it did not like it
Oh, the delights of poorly-written science fiction! It's as delectable as a "rotten tomato" B movie. This one actually made me laugh out loud repeatedly, which some well-crafted books never achieve, so kudos to Barron. I am frightened by the thought, however, that there is more than one Adventure of Kate, as I cannot imagine who would dare pick up the next one...
Aug 21, 2008 Ames rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya-books
I have to say I liked The Ancient One a lot more than Heartlight, but it's good to be able to start at the beginning of Kate's adventures and understand what happened to her grandfather. I like the way T.A. Barron has no qualms about dealing with death in his books, and he approaches it in a very logical and beautiful way. Still makes me cry though.
Centa Schumacher
Jul 13, 2011 Centa Schumacher rated it liked it
When I was 10 or 11 my school librarian recommended this book to me, and I adored it. I can't wait to read it again, fantasy or no.

Update: This one is a sweet and sad YA book, the ice crystals are pretty crazy though. The author is great at lush descriptions and believable, fun fantasy. Fun read.
Apr 06, 2009 Weixin rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Some of my most favorite quotes are taken from this beautifully written story about a girl who has to learn to trust in herself and in what she really believes to find herself. It's a story about friendship, love, trust, and in a abstract way: the freedom to think and feel.
Jan 01, 2014 Phil rated it it was ok
A transparent Madeline L'Engle style of "hard science meets fantasy" with a tad more god than I care for in my fiction.

Barron's The Ancient One is much better!
Feb 10, 2009 Susan rated it it was ok
Fantasy about a young girl who's grandfather discovers that the sun is dieing, and takes a trip to another star to find how to save the sun. I found it slow and pretty aimless. Maybe just not in the mood?
Brandon Alexander
Aug 06, 2011 Brandon Alexander rated it it was ok
This was more of a smorgasbord of science fiction ideas thrown into a paperback cover. While not particularly fantastical, the novel bears the potential of an eventually riveting author.
Anthony Faber
Kate #1. Second rate Madeline L'Engle, only with more religion and more garbled science. If you really like L'Engle's stuff and aren't to critical, you might like this, but...

Jul 24, 2007 Cinco rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one!
Shelves: youngadult, fantasy
I'm still mad at Madeleine L'Engle for providing a blurb, prompting me to read the book. Absolutely terrible, don't-know-how-it-ever-got-published crap.
May 30, 2008 Gracie rated it really liked it
This is a really unique look on science. I found it very interesting. I enjoyed myself, and can still picture the imagery the author used. :D
Oct 17, 2012 Lizzy rated it it was ok
I'm a big fan of The Ancient One so I thought perhaps this book would be a good read. But this book did not capture me.
Sep 13, 2008 Jenna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: elementary school kids
Recommended to Jenna by: mom
eh... It's ok. Not wonderful, but a decent book considering it's probably meant for people a couple years younger than me.
Apr 04, 2009 Emily rated it liked it
T.A. Barron is great at mixing fantasy with science fiction and making the reasoning seem a reality.
Aug 31, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
A cute little story of space travel that reminded me of A Wrinkle in Time.
May 10, 2011 Wendy rated it did not like it
traveling to space, butterfies, girly science fiction, blah...
Apr 17, 2016 Judy rated it it was ok
Shelves: didnt-finish
This is my least favorite of Barron's books.
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T.A. Barron grew up in Colorado ranch country and traveled widely as a Rhodes Scholar. He is the winner of the de Grummond Medallion for “lifetime contribution to the field of children’s and young adult literature” and many other awards. T. A. Barron is the author of more than 30 highly acclaimed books, many of which are international bestsellers. They include The Lost Years of Merlin (now being d ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Adventures of Kate (3 books)
  • The Ancient One (Adventures of Kate, #2)
  • The Merlin Effect (Adventures of Kate, #3)

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