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(The Adventures of Kate #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,102 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Kate is a teenage girl living with her astrophysicist grandfather 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 I'v
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 25th 2003 by Ace (first published September 1st 1990)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,102 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Feb 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, science-fiction, ya
Okay, that's it. I'm done. I'm sorry, I tried, but I just can't do this anymore.

My biggest problem with trying to read this is that the science-literate part of my brain is not something that I can just turn on and off at will. If this had been a fantasy story, that would be one thing, because in fantasy magic is kind of a given. But this was written and presented as science fiction, and it's painfully clear that T. A. Barron stands comfortably alongside Madeline L'Engle in the "YA Authors Who
Jan 17, 2013 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.

I agree with the review on the cover (though I hate it when books have reviews on the front cover) that this story is reminiscent of C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy. However, that trilogy might be my least favorite of Lewis' and I like this book even less. It was boring and Kate was annoying. Don't be rude to people who risk their lives to help you!

Barron created some alien species, but there was some confusion as to how much they knew of our planet. If I recall correctly, Ariella has not heard of
Feb 24, 2020 marked it as dnf
DNF page 94 of 272.

Really disappointed with Heartlight. Picked this up after discovering my childhood favorite The Ancient One is book two in the Adventures of Kate series, with Heartlight being the first in the trilogy. Honestly, I have no idea wtf I just read.
Jan 23, 2015 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. ...more
Denise Quezada
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
this book was nice if you like fantasy which I do it made me feel amazed. I learned that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. and I would recommend this book to someone who likes fantasy because this book is made for people who like fantasy.
I read this book for the ATY 2019 Challenge Week 33: a book you have had for a year and not read.

All science-fiction has things that are hard to swallow, I think. That is fine. The same is true of fantasy, but this book had too many things that I had a tough time choking down. In a way, it is a pseudo-religious book with a belief in a Pattern. But there is also a talking star! I did read it to the end because it had a cliffhanger ending going on, but I did not like the ending. It did not really
Sarah Vaughn
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020, ya-fiction
2.5 stars rounded down. The Ancient One is one of my all time favorite YA books, and I love the Merlin books by T.A. as well, I think this might have been a higher rating if I didn’t come into it with such high expectations. The lessons and focus on nature and the circle of life are there, but this one felt a bit harder to follow and visualize. T.A is an amazing author, this just isnt one of my favorite of his books.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018, lib18
ridiculous world building (interstellar travel on giant months powered by the energy of the human soul?) and clumsy dialogue and characterization and on top of that a religious message; seemed like a bad rip off of Wrinkle in Time and not worth reading. (plus the main character traveled with her grandfather, Dr. Prancer, and the ridiculous name put me off).
Jul 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The plot was everywhere. The characters were dull. Thee writing was bland. The same thing happened repeatedly. The author needs a thesaurus. The phrase 'It took all she had' was used twice in the same paragraph. Also 'help' was on every other page ...more
The book was good. Clearly for a young audience and with at time too heavy a splash of pseudoscience, but a fine enough adventure story. Character arcs are nonexistent and the main character is not entirely sympathetic for the reader. Basically, a fun, quick read with little depth.
Dario Lopez
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Unlike the other reviews, Those that make this book seem trash, This particular one achieves the senses use in a real scenario and applies them with fantasy. Sad ending, Science, and skill are used to determine who lives. watch what you think. Reading it over and over helps develop the main picture
Sianna LaDuke
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
I tried reminding myself I was reading a middle grade book. I thought it would help me enjoy the story more. It didn’t.

Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my absolute favorite books from when I was younger.
Heather Rose
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was ok
I didn't know there would be so much Christian ideology in this series.
When you're expecting it and have accepted it, okay.
But when you're blindsided by the hidden agenda...
Michael Montgomery
Oct 14, 2009 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 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
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
Jan 09, 2015 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
May 03, 2007 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.
Freya Lustie-Kniser
Feb 22, 2010 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. ...more
April Brown
Jul 20, 2012 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.
Aug 06, 2008 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. ...more
Sep 12, 2010 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. ...more
Sep 23, 2010 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. ...more
Amy Yam
Feb 07, 2013 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... ...more
Adam Bruns
Jun 06, 2013 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. ...more
Jan 21, 2009 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. ...more
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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

Other books in the series

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

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