Nebador Archives presents an epic young-adult science fiction adventure - Comments

J. Z. Colby's NEBADOR takes place in the wide universe around us ...
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Kibi and the Search for Happiness
Rini and the Old Slave
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What're Friends For?
Sata's Strength
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For professional reviews, please see the Reviews/Articles page.

Average ratings (1-5)GoodReadsLibraryThingAmazon
(they often delete reviews for
their own mysterious purposes,
so this comes and goes)
Book One: The Test 3.97 4.07 4.80
Book Two: Journey 4.47 3.95 4.00
Book Three: Selection 4.59 4.20  
Book Four: Flight Training 4.54 3.94  
Book Five: Back to the Stars 4.52 4.80 4.00
Book Six: Star Station 4.53 5.00 4.50
Book Seven: The Local Universe 4.75   5.00
Book Eight: Witness 4.89    
Book Nine: A Cry for Help 4.83    
Book Ten: Stories from Sonmatia5.00    

NEBADOR Book One: The Test

"I really enjoyed reading your book Nebador, the Test.

You gave a convincing depiction of life in a medieval city state, a setting where some authors in the genre fall back on thin description. For the middle school age reader your narrative unfolded at a moderate pace and yet was gripping. I liked the way you integrated much needed reviews of basic arithmetic theory, phonic principles, and logic into the narrative as challenge for the characters. Did you learn and/or teach new math back in the day? Reaching the end of the book, I felt a strong desire to know what happened next.
-- Letty Lincoln, Anthropologist

3/5 stars "As a series opener this book is pretty good,

there is a bit of story set up which isn't amazing but the concept it hints is looks likely to be thoroughly engrossing. The characters did seem a little flat, especailly in the first half of the book, but as the story progressed they developed a bit better and again have the potential to be really interesting and diverse. As the lead character Ilika is kept a little in the background as the reader finds out more about his new crew and the semi-medieval world he found them in rather than his own back story, but I imagine that will come later with the rest of the series. The story itself was really well paced and I imagine for younger readers would also be quite educational (possibly without them even knowing it too). At times it did feel a little dumbed down but since this is a book for younger readers I'm not going to hold that against it. I think I'll be keeping an eye out for this one in future.
-- Sam,

3/5 stars "I was actually a critic for this series way back when.

I remember being entertained and interested in the characters and the story, as well as enjoying the teaching aspect of the book.
-- Kathryn,

"There was so much I really enjoyed about this book;

it was truly a blast to read. I found many of the characters to be very likable, especially Ilika, Sata, Mati, and Kibi. Some of the slaves that he did not choose were quite rude, but thankfully they were only present for a short period of time. The villain, who was a priest that wanted to arrest Ilika, did not appear as much as villains usually do in stories, but I liked that it was not overwhelming when he did appear.

It takes a good portion of the book for Ilika to determine where he can find the companions he is seeking. Once he does, the preparations to test them require even more time. Thankfully the author always kept things interesting so I was never bored. The reader is kept in the dark for a long time about what the young man's true intentions with the slaves are, and the exact details of their journey. Even by the end, there are still many unanswered questions.

There was a test that Ilika gave to the slaves to see who would be the best fit for his crew. The cool part about this is that the reader is able to join in and do the test as well by looking at the diagrams shown on the page. The test was very fun, but I will admit that at even some points I was unsure of what the correct answer was.

It was so great to see these slaves become free. I saw them as individuals, with their own unique personalities, who could be extremely smart and talented. I liked that there was not always a surprise around every corner, much like how things are in normal life. Also, things stayed at a good pace, and thankfully never became too predictable.

It was fun to review the topics Illika discussed when teaching his students. For younger readers, they may learn a lot, just as the ex-slaves did. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series, and look forward to more by this author."
-- Sweetfable, 17, California,

"The usually quiet towns in the Capitol City are about to be shaken to their roots.

For on his way is a young traveler in search of a crew. And what better place to look than the Capitol City. He is going to turn these cities upside down in his search. This young man will stop at nothing to find the right people. But has he found too many?

The Test was a good book for many reasons. One of them is the fact that it had an odd but good style. I also liked it because it has a sense of urgency and danger. Other reasons would be the vivid words used to describe the scenes, the maps the writer provided, and the narrow escapes from the many dangers."
-- KHein_Hopkins, 15, Michigan,

"Sir, im deeply enchanted with your books even though i only read the first.

So here i am wondering, are your books distribution included south asia? Specifically Indonesia? ..."
-- Hilal Haqiqi, Indonesia, email

5/5 stars "Awesome book. Cannot wait to read the second one!"
-- Judi Jones, Texas,

4/5 stars "I'm looking forward to reading the rest.

I actually liked this book. The story was simple but interesting."
-- Gloria Masitsa,

3/5 stars "Overall this book is entertaining,

it's have interesting plot and and make you can't put it down until you finish the book

I want to give it 4 stars but I think there's something missing in The Test, I don't know if it is because of the target reader is for children or something else. And the 'preaching' is a little bit annoying for me, once again maybe because it is for children but really this book has a lot of potential to become a great series not just overall good."
-- Anggia Retno, Indonesia,

"Just finished Book One, so much fun, great lessons, love it

and looking forward to reading the rest. Thank you"
-- Mark Allen O'Connor,

5/5 stars "When I have kids, I want them to read this book.

Besides being a fascinating story, it also contains a great introduction of logic, math, ethics, and language.
-- Edward Antrobus, Colorado,

4/5 stars "Nicely written and the story flows almost on its own."
-- Maldorak,

4/5 stars "Nebador The Test was an entertaining read full of great characters and a storyline that kept me intrigued.

The setting of this story brought to mind the video games Fable and Oblivion added with a group that made me think of The Goonies. This title also had scenes in it that not only put the characters to a test but the readers as well, giving them things to think about within their own lives. With all these great messages to younger readers, I highly recommend this title and I look forward to reading more of the titles in this series myself."
-- Steven Beltzer, Washington,

Trilogy One: "I do think you have something on the edge of fabulous

with your writing ... and I am not going to let my signed copy get beat up.  It goes into my first edition collection that will one day be auctioned off for Oregon Mensa scholarships.
-- Ruth Parvin, J.D., Ph.D. psychologist (, email 27 May 2012

4.5/5 stars "... I have to say that it definitely did not disappoint.

This book is a beautiful testament to human nature: the good, the bad, and the very ugly. I can honestly say that I could not put it down. I absolutely fell in love with the main character Ilika, perhaps one of the best examples of the good in people I have seen in a book. This book literally made me laugh out loud at times, made me sit back and think, and at times it even broke my heart because the truth of the ugliness human kind can exhibit sometimes and the choices we make that hurt others is a very real, nearly tangible thing in our world today. J.Z. Colby created this book in all the beauty and pain needed to make not only a good story, but a lesson in humanity. I adored this book and cannot wait to read Book Two."
-- Book0_0Wyrm, California,

4/5 stars "Nebador The Test Book one is a Science Fiction Adventure

which begins with Ilika who goes to a medival kingdom seeking five persons as a crew for his mysterious ship. Going into an unfamiliar country he is able to bargain effectively with the slavetraders to select the persons that he wants. Having in mind the specific characteristics of the crew he so desires, he implements a number of rigorous test which leaves him with ten persons from which he must choose five for the journey he has in mind. In order to select the five persons he now has to educate these ten persons.

The language of the book because of its simplicity is easy and encouraging to read. The imagery allows you to feel and to picture not just the persons being described but the relationships that are portrayed. The initial formation of a relationship built on trust between Ilika and his crew is seen during the first test. Ilika is portrayed as a very compassionate person who values persons not because of who they are or what they look like but what is found deep within them. Their ability to be who they are inspite of their circumstances. Therefore he is not daunted by the fact that his crew has to selected from among slaves.
-- bgapb, Barbados,

3.5/5 stars "As for why I felt the book nostalgic I have only two words for you, Andre Norton.

Nebador Book One: The Test is an entertaining young adult narrative set in a medieval kingdom where the institution of slavery is an integral part of society. Enter Ilika, a ship captain from the mysterious land of Nebador who is looking for crew members to man his vessel. It is revealed that Ilika is on a quest and one of his major tests is to recruit his own crew. What he doesn't know is that the only eligible young men and women that fit his recruitment criteria are slaves. The story develops as the young ship captain purchases, manumits, and then educates ten teenaged slaves as possible crewmembers. "The Test" of the title manages to work on two levels. Ilika's test is to find and train a competent crew for his ship and the test for each slave is to learn enough to be chosen as a crewmember. We get the feeling, though are never really told, that Ilika is no ordinary captain and that his ship is no ordinary craft. Indeed we are told via subtle inference that the vessel is so unusual that is it not a "ship" in the traditional sense at all. I'm sure you can see where this is going...

The first chapter of this book could have been stronger structurally, in my opinion, but the mystery of the strange ship captain was interesting enough to keep me reading the narrative. A stronger introduction to the main character might have given the story a better, less confusing, start. For instance, Ilika unnecessarily talking to animals to introduce himself was to me a bit confusing. Is this a fantasy about a young man that can talk to animals? Or is he just psychotic? No, it was just an awkward way to introduce the reader to the character. An encounter with a fellow traveler or a local farmer might have set up the opening a little better. However, once past that minor fault the book picks up in both pace and plot and I found it to be an enjoyable read.

As a reviewer of a certain age, over 50 but under dead, I feel well-qualified to comment on the plot and content of this young adult narrative which I found to be entertaining, educational, and nostalgic. Entertaining in the fact that the plot was well-written, the characters believable and real, and the premise was interesting enough to keep me reading until the end of the story. When I say that I found the book educational I mean in the sense that it contains elements of basic math and logic intended to educate the young reader (a rare occurrence these days in most young adult fiction.) More often than not we are riddled with YA stories that contain only emotional and relationship driven narratives. Nebador does indeed include relationship building but it is more in the line of binding a team together rather than focusing on romantic alliances although there are elements of romance found in the story. As for why I felt the book nostalgic I have only two words for you, Andre Norton. Yes, the prolific YA and science fiction author. I recall to this day that warm afternoon in the early 70's when I first opened a borrowed copy of Witch World. I was completely drawn into and enthralled by that story. In fact, I wanted to go and write similar stories. Though I never did get around to writing those tales the important thing was that it made me want to and, in some ways, that experience turned me into a voracious reader. I read more because of it in my search to find books written in a similar style with parallel content. I hope that this book does the same for the young readers that come in contact with it. Hopefully, there are those who will read this in jaw-dropping wonder and begin a long life of reading Science Fiction for the pure pleasure of it. Of course, I am no longer a doe-eyed young adult looking to be blown away by a Science Fiction story (though I often am) and I remember fondly what it feels like and I believe that Nebador has the potential to cause that same type of wonderment in a new generation of young adults.
-- TheAlternativeOne, Wisconsin,

5/5 stars "on page 224 and just ordered the next two in the series

I liked the book so much that I ordered what I could afford from

very good series so far and can't wait to get into the next book in the series as well as purchasing the other 5"
-- Sabi Edwards, Saskatchewan,

4/5 stars "I enjoyed this book tremendously and look forward to continuing the journey in the next books in the series.

I grew to love the characters in this book and felt like I was right there with them. The author did a fantastic job with describing everything so the reader can picture the people and places. I will be passing this book along to my stepson as there are some great lessons to be learned in this book such as kindness, teamwork and perseverance. Can't wait to read the next book!"
-- Mistique0130, Maryland,

5/5 stars "... I loved it. Listening to the tones of someone else. It was awesome.

I can not say enough about it. I would highly recommend it to anyone and have in fact passed it on to someone who loves science fiction and he loved it too. He hates to read so this was great for him....Keep up the good work."
-- Hillgirl, Indiana, [Dramatic Audiobook]

4/5 stars "Ilika is a captain in need of a crew.

He was sent to this place, this world, to find his crew. He's not from here, probably from another planet, although we are never really told where he is from. This is a semi-medieval world, where there are slaves and horses and all.

Ilika tries to find young people who want and are willing to learn, who also would like to travel far away. He seeks for them among the educated and the smart, but they all are a "kind" of smart he doesn't actually want... So the solution comes up, in a conversation with the baker: slaves. He needs people who are willing to fight for their survival and yet, are free thinkers and are eager to learn and take whatever they can, also improving their lives.
I don't want to tell you more of the story, as I feel like I already fell into some spoilery, although nothing serious in my opinion. The one thing that I disliked the book was the names. All of the characters have similar names: Ilika, Kibi, Sata, Boro, Mati, Rini, Miko, Neti, Buna, Kodi and Misa. So that makes things a bit hard, you have to keep going back and try to remember who is that one and what did they do. Also I mixed up boys and girls more than once - with names like that you can't be too sure...

The positive points, though, are much more interesting than the bad - the educational part is very interesting for any young adult out there, the stories of the slaves are very interesting for us to understand them and the world around them and Ilika is also so raw, so fresh, he isn't sure about himself or others, he must learn as he go, aswell, like the students.

I'm looking forward to the day I'll be able to buy the rest of the series ...
-- Mayara Arend,,

4/5 stars "... Colby has the rare ability to transport his readers into an imaginary world that is very realistic.

The novel is set in a medieval time which is what much of my country's history is based on. I live just 20 minutes from one of the oldest villages in the whole of England. The realistic setting; market place, inn, streets and so forth were very valid.

I loved the characters unusual names, connections and personal charm. Colby developed each one with enough information yet some mystery to leave us guessing.

What I loved most about this novel were the life lessons Colby conveyed to his readers. I will leave you all to read it to understand what they are.

I would definitely recommend this book and I will be ordering the next one immediately.
-- Chenice, UK,

3/5 stars "I am not a big Science fiction fan, but this book was okay.

I would recommend this book to people who like action, adventure, and science fiction.
-- Astoria Malfoy, California,

5/5 stars "This book keeps you glued to the pages from the begining to the end.

The storyline is really good. i highly recommend this book to anyone who likes science fiction."
-- Mrdoan72, Missouri,

"I just finished the trilogy and I must say I really enjoyed it.

I'm quite curious to see what lies ahead for the crew.
-- Shawn Shumway,

4.5/5 stars "As a reader of various types of books - for all ages - I liked the premise of this book ...

When I first started reading the book, however, I wasn't entirely convinced. Thinking back to my own youth, and the types of books I used to read at that age, I had the initial thought that I had read "better" books than this.

The more I read of The Test, the more I changed my mind about the book and the more I began to like it. Part of what drew me further in is Ilika, himself, how he teaches the kids - imparting information and making sure that all of them learn it to the best of their abilities - and how he gives each of them the opportunity to not only think for themselves, but also gives them the opportunity to show their individual strengths.

Another part of what drew me into the story is the proposed adventure. For the prospective individuals that Ilika will choose, the adventure begins the day he tests them. As time goes on in this initial book, and more so as the series will progress, the promise of further adventure is heightened through the promise of a future better than what they are leaving behind.

A nice surprise of a read that I would gladly recommend to anyone who enjoys science fiction. I look forward to reading more of the series."
-- Strogan, Florida,

5/5 stars "My friend Glenn did the voice on the audiobook,

and then loaned me the book to read. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. This was the first book in a long time, that I didn't want to put down. It was quite enjoyable, and the storytelling was very well done.
-- Daniel Cook, Arizona,

3.5/5 stars "... I confess to being less than optimistic about when I first started it.

The illustrations are rather crude, as are (it must be said) the opening few chapters.

And yet Colby clearly has a story to tell. Increasingly I found myself gripped by the tale, and although I'm not what the book keeps referring to as a "young adult" (I think that means a teenager!) I found the developing plot hugely enjoyable. As someone else commented, you couldn't call it fast-paced, but it does keep one's attention. The author's writing style matures as the book progresses, and the only thing that I struggled with throughout was the fact that all the characters bar Ilika, the Captain, have rather unimaginative two-syllabled names that are hard to separate out in your mind.

I look forward to the next installment in the series!"
-- IanKG, Scotland,

4.5/5 stars "This series by aspiring author J.Z. Colby provides a unique and rarely seen perspective into the mystical relm of science fiction,

allowing his characters to develop in ways that are so realistic it is startaling. This novel is a must for any science fiction fan, young or old, that wants to open their mind to a world of limitless possibility."
-- Abrain, Arizona,

3/5 stars "I dont really like Science Fiction Adventure but this was nice.

It started off a little slow but it got better. I would recommend this book to anyone who's a fan of Science fiction stories."
-- Ameena Adel, Bahrain,

3.5/5 stars "Wonderful, easy read book with many life lessons on being a better person!

This book keeps you hanging as you go, in ways different from anything I've read before. The characters are very likeable, and make you wish you knew more people like them. I look forward to following the progress of the crew and their voyage, wherever it may take them. I recommend this book for readers of all ages (I am 33, and learned new things myself) and feel like it will contribute to creating a better person for any who reads it."
-- SBeasley, Arkansas,

3/5 stars "This was an enjoyable and easy read.

The book starts out with Ilika landing in a strange place looking for a crew for his ship. The story follows him as he works out in a strange culture firstly how to fit in and then how to find the people he needs. In this book he finds, selects 10 possibilities and sets about training them.

Colby proposed some interesting well-rounded characters and it will be interesting to see how they develop over the course of the series. I like the way Colby dealt with some issues (slavery, cooperation, the concept of leadership), although sometimes it was a little bit simplistic, for the target audience it will probably promote some good thinking around these topics. I'll be giving it to my 11 y.o. daughter next to see what she thinks of it."
-- Melissa Stebbins,

"I am totally finished with this book and it is really good

and I really want to write a review BUT I CAN'T FIND IT IT IS SOMEWHERE ON MY DESK It is really good guys read it I will write a review when I clean my desk Probably."
-- Taryn,

5/5 stars "The Nebador Trilogy are mindfully entertaining!!!

Worth savoring (rereading when you need to feel.) For young adults, as well as young-at-heart adults. The author paints the story with vitality, each of the characters come alive, with energy and enthusiasm as they make the decision to "Seize the Day" opening the possibilities to better their lives. Feeling their anxieties they struggle with personal baggage, all the while exploring the unknowns around them. Each in their own way and time learning to shoulder responsibilities; developing true and sometimes harsh understanding of the consequences and actions, adjusting to life's circumstances that seem to be constancies that are constantly changing as their trials increase in difficulty. The trilogy: {The Test, Journey and Selection}, fills you with anticipation as you watch the characters move forward into a fascinating and complex universe filled with wondrous and magical new things to explore and discover. Jonathan's skill in weaving a story will leave the readers eager for more in the Nebador Saga."
-- Anne,

4/5 stars "I received the first three books as a gift and I will honestly say that it was a true treasure.

Watching the progression of the children to major roles of an on-going tale is something I am looking forward to.

The Test starts this journey and I found myself wishing to take the test myself to see how well I would have done. It was an intriguing way of twisting education into a SiFi book. The narrow-mindedness of the culture is striking familiar with our own history and the parallels remind us that being open to new and wondrous ideas is paramount to growth of the human race.

This author has spent the time developing the character and flushing out intricacies that is rare in most books today. Even with the information we did received, we still have many unknowns about Ilika.

The travel has just begun and I am awaiting the continuing of the tale."
-- Michael,

4/5 stars "So far "the Test" is an engaging read.

The story and characters are believable and the plot is going in a direction that I would not have expected. So far I would categorize it as an excellent young adult science fiction book with a bit of a fantasy feel.

I enjoyed The Test and will likely read the next instalment before I judge the entire series. I found the last third of the book a little less entertaining than the first two-thirds. The characters were well defined the only complaint I had was the names were too similar so I ended up backtracking in some cases to double check who had done or said something in earlier chapters.

While the story took some unexpected twists that I did not always see coming many young adult adventures memes are also present. This is not really a surprise and I was expecting this and as a forty year old I also realize I am not the main target audience for the book. In the closing chapters I found some of the characters became a bit predicable.

I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of quasi-fantasy and science fiction with the sometimes subtle and some times obvious hints as to the technology level and focus of later chapters (and potentially later books). I think some of the references would be more magical and fantastic if I were in the target age range for the book. I would imagine that some of the scenes involving lessons and the teacher student relationship would also be better received by my daughter than by me.

To me the ultimate judgement comes down to this; I can't wait to pass this book onto my daughter. I think she will enjoy the book and I hope she will want to read the entire series.

My last comment is on the illustrations. I thought that the'hand-drawn' style illustrations in the book were great. They added to the story far more than a photo or map might have in the same place.

Congratulations to goodreads author J.Z. Colby on the start of what looks to be a good young adult adventure series. I'll be picking up the next volume and I suspect my daughter will be devouring the series as fast ans they can be published. ..."
-- Shane Knysh, Alberta,

3/5 stars "The narrative proceeds slowly as the growth of a tree, but Colby keeps high the mysterious plot and the reader never puts down the book until the end.

Nebador falls under the genre of young adult books, maybe the old fashioned word Bildungsroman (Formation Novel) could explain what this books are about: usually they tell of psychological growth from youth to adulthood, and teenager are their target.

'And someday, perhaps a story will be written about our adventures, and students will pay two great silver pieces to purchase a copy to learn to read.' (p. 263, Medium Print edition)

A young man arrives in a medieval city seeking for crew to hire for his ship. Ilika from Satamia in the region of Nebador as captain of the ship finally found ten young boys and girls suitable for his purposes.

'I have been training to be a ship's captain ... Now I have my own small ship, and for my final test, I have to find and train my own crew.' (p. 82, Medium Print edition)

I recommend Nebador for young adult readers, but I'd like to advise a complementary reading: The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse.

P.S. A brief guide: Girls: Kibi (16 years old), Buna (14), Mati (13), Neti (15), Sata (11); Boys: Rini (13), Kodi (12), Toli (19), Miko (16), Boro (14)."
-- Graziano Ronca, Italy,,,

"I sat down with Book One last night

to read the first few pages on the way to bed. About 3:00am I noticed that there were just 10 pages to go, so I stayed up a little longer."
-- Matthew Sabin, Idaho,

5/5 stars "Brilliant, suspencefull.

Great start to a series and wonderfull idea. An amazing and very talented voice cast for the AudioBook. "Encore Encore!" Thank you to J.Z Colby and Goodreads for the chance to win this book."

Can relate to Kibi re hair! Mine would take 8-9 hours to dry if i washed it myself! lol. I'm not mad about the dark can tolerate small spaces in the dark as long as i know i'll get out of there soon. Heights i'm not great with either.
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland, [Dramatic Audiobook]

4/5 stars "I won a signed copy

of this book from first reads. Since Colton (my 14 yr old son) is such a science fiction/fantasy fan, I gave it to him to read first. When I asked him how he liked it, he said, "It was really, really, really good."
-- Kimberlee & Colton, Arizona,

4/5 stars "I won this book through Goodreads.

It started out a little slow, but by the end I was looking forward to reading the next one."
-- Amy Rose, Ohio,

4/5 stars "Ok, the book had me a little confused at first

so I had to read and reread it. Although to be fair I was reading other books at the time two. I think this series as it progresses has the potential to change the way people see things. It is science fiction but it has so may other elements to it that just makes it feel like it has the potential to be great. In this series kids do not have the luxury of being kids which given the fact that they are required to do adult jobs and take on the responsibites of adults, will appeal to older age groups. As in most series the first book sets the stage and can be a little slow going and usely picks up by the end and leaves you wanting to read the next. This one did just that and I am going to have my eleven yearold sit down and read it and tell me how she feels about the book and then I will probly reread it because she may have other insites as to how she felt about it and a different prespective than I did while reading it. It will also let me know if this is a book that a kid in fourth grade and up would enjoy or if it would be over there head. I read books for the librian at my kids school and let her know if they would be something that would be age apporiate or appeal to kid at this age for her library. I do think this book spans many age groups but I am going to have my daughter take a look at it before I suggest it."
-- Jessica (Rhayne Vhexus/Vhiper) Bolton, Michigan,

3/5 stars "... I'm not a huge fan of YA or Sci-Fi individually, but Colby did a good job of keeping the plot moving forward.

I didn't fall in love the story, but I definately enjoyed it enough to recommend it. I'd be interested to read more from Colby."

*Edit* Reading this again, I found more to like! This novel definitely grows on you, and you find yourself wanting to know more and more about the characters!"
-- Jenn, Oklahoma,

4/5 stars "... The Test by J. Z. Colby is a fun-filled adventure

that resonates well with children and young adults as well. As this is the first out of a six book series, most of this unsurprisingly is background and set-up for the next five books. Nevertheless, Colby kept me hooked and interested for the entire book and left me wondering what was going to happen next.

Characters? There are a lot of characters in this one and because of this, it makes it difficult to resonate with many of them since there are so many and they all have names with about four letters each. I never got really confused but it made the reading a bit more difficult to try and keep track of them all. However, because this is all set-up for the rest of the series, I didn't really worry about it since it's clear there's plenty of time for me to get to know this characters and to see them develop fully with the next five books. I did have a few favorites though, Kibi being one of them. :)

Plot? Again, as this is pretty much all set-up, nothing really happens in this one, (besides the end). Colby, however, knows how to keep a reader hooked and kept me entertained even during scenes, had I read them in other books, would have killed any love I had for them. I especially enjoyed many of the lessons and tests the potential crew had to go through, it was fun trying to figure them all out!

Writing? The characters in here learned math and I was still utterly entertained. That in of itself should tell you that J. Z. Colby can write and he can write good.

All in all? The test was a fun read. It kept me entertained, taught me a few things and made me laugh. I'd love to check out the rest of the series and see where all my favorite characters end up. :) Thanks again Goodreads and J. Z. Colby! 4/5"
-- Kereesa, Canada,

3/5 stars "Over all, this first book reminded me of a dungeons and dragons

pull it together introduction to a larger story waiting to be told. There wasn't a lot of sci-fi type aspects to 'The Test', and I did enjoy the medieval setting. For me this was a light read and by the end of the book I wanted more.

With as many characters in the storyline I did get to the point of... "Wow..again? many slave stories are we going to see in the first book?!" I do like to read backgrounds of characters, but do hope that there is something for reminiscing in book two. I liked the maps and diagrams that were in the book; That gave me a idea of how large an area the characters moved about in and what was being shown to the prospective crew.

I hope the next book will come out soon, as I'd like to continue reading of the captain and his crew."
-- Shelly Crouse, Texas,

"Having won "The Test" through Goodreads giveaways

I was very excited to find the book in my mail box yesterday afternoon. I put off all the things I had to do and sat down to read.

"The Test" was a quick read and a real page turner, so much so that I read it through in one sitting. The story's concept was well thought out and if I was just judging the book on that I would give the book 4 1/2 stars. And despite everything else I would read the next book.

However, it felt to me as if this book had been "dumbed down" for a younger audience ... "
-- Jenne, Alabama,

5/5 stars "I'll admit,

when I read this book was to be a sci-fi young adult novel in a medieval kingdom, I was both skeptical and intrigued, but mainly skeptical. However, having found interest in all three of those genres in the past, I figured what the heck and went for it.

And am I glad I did! This was exactly what I was hoping for in a medieval sci-fi young adult novel!

This was another one of those single-serving novels for me, where I curl up in bed and don't put it down until the story is finished. Except, horror of horrors, the story isn't finished! There's plenty of serial novels out there which are short, complete stories of their own, which leave you satisfied, perfectly happy to never get your hands on the next story in the series, but this is not one of them! It leaves you with so many questions! Who is Ilika? Where is he from? WHEN is he from? You get hints in the novel that he's probably not from our planet, or at least he hasn't been since he was at a very young age, but on top of that he's also probably a time traveler! On top of that, this entire book of the series is about him choosing five students out of thirty-one to work on "ship," and the book leaves with nine of them still in tow! Who will be the lucky chosen?

I'm sure before long I'll have the entire series on my already-crowded bookshelf, and when my kids are old enough to understand them, they'll be introduced to the world of Nebador. I'm hoping the series will take a My Teacher Is An Alien-style turn in the future, though I do love the medieval setting as well.

If I were to have any major criticisms it would be on two points. One, the lessons did go a bit too in-depth for most young adult readers, which while I didn't mind as a twenty-something year old, may leave the average fourteen year old confused and frustrated. Two, a lot of the morals the novel is attempting to teach the reader are a bit too in your face. Yet again, I personally don't mind such a factor, but I can imagine many readers and their mentors finding it grating, especially if they don't agree with the morals being presented to them. At the age of rebellion the young adult genre can produce, being told they should be disgusted by red meat may put off the average reader."
-- Shanna, USA,

4/5 stars "This is shaping up to be an interesting series

(although there are 11 left to get through!). It did take me a while to get into, and I'm not sure if that's because of the book itself or just the fact that my brain is so scattered lately.

The premise of the book is good. I could have done with a little less of the basic lessons the man gives his potential crew members--figuring out numbers and learning letters, that sort of thing. Over-all I enjoyed it."
-- Rebecca McKinnon, Utah,, author of The Refuge Trilogy

4/5 stars "never had such a joy reading sci-fi :)"
-- Ria Rina, Russia,

5/5 stars "I won this book in First Reads

and I wasn't sure how much I'd like it given that I'm not really a huge sci-fi person, however the mention of a "medieval kingdom" in the blurb was enough to sway me that it might be good.

OMG. SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!! I could barely stand to put it down once I'd begun. I loved it and now absolutely can't wait for the second in the series!
I loved the testing and educating process because the book actually includes diagrams and stuff so the reader can figure out the answers too, or learn alongside the pupils. It was funny to see what we called MAB blocks pop up as well, memories of primary school maths! I'd totally forgotten about them until now. :P

I loved, loved, LOVED this book for so many reasons. The story is fascinating and really well told, it's engrossing and exciting without being heavy-going. And the characters are brought to life so much, you really get to meet them.

My only gripe is that by the end of the book, Ilika and his nine pupils (one got booted, deservedly so) have only just managed to leave the city walls... I'm dying to know which five he's going to pick! My guesses are he will pick Sata and Mati and Kibi, he won't pick Buna or Toli... but then I don't know. Neti and Miko can't be split up and I have no idea if Ilika would choose them, or Rini and Boro. Argh, want to knooooow. :P

I love how there were maps of the city, and also how we got to learn about their customs and language and currency as he and the pupils did - the monetary system, how girls' names end in -a or -i and boys' ones end in -o or -i, and all names are four letters long. My only *real* gripe is that sometimes, the spoken language of the pupils started to sound too modern, out of place in their medieval kingdom. Things like "guys" and someone mentioning a "cattle ranch" - I don't know, it just didn't seem to fit. But that's all, and it's really nothing. I totally recommend this to everyone - it doesn't matter if you don't like sci-fi like me because it's NOT enormously sci-fi at all, there's just that slight air about it. And now I am going to sit and go crazy until I can get my hands on book two. ;)"
-- S. Bell, UK,

3/5 stars "Although not usually a science fiction reader

I enjoyed this book and am look forward to reading book two. i took "The Test" along with me on a recent plane journey and before I realized it we were touching down and I was on the last few page. For me this was a winner twofold as I won the book on goodreads and it helped quickly pass a 5 hr flight. Thank you."
-- Jan McRobie, Australia,

5/5 stars "I got the book:

The Test (Nebador, #1) as a giveaway on GoodReads. This book is set in the medieval times when slaves were brought and sold at street corners. In walks Ilika from a land far away, Nebador to be precise. He is a captain of a ship which needs a worthy crew, a crew which is smart, ethical and trustworthy - not necessarily strong in the physical sense. Do the noblemen qualify to be his crew? Or the high priests? The answer his no.

Ilika's search leads him to the slaves and after having subjected a group of them to various tests he selects nine. Oh yes, the inn-keepers daughter is the tenth member - after having qualified in the same tests. Of these ten, five will qualify for his crew, the rest will be richly rewarded so that they can start their lives comfortably.

I loved this book.Even as it is set in an entirely different setting and not a business setting, it brought across the basic concepts of ethics, leadership – more importunately situational leadership and the importance of trust within a team.

It is also a book where the value of freedom echoes strongly. The nine slaves selected by Ilika are no longer slaves. There are many poignant moments in this book, such as when their bonds are first cut to their getting their "freedom document".

The quaint description of the streets in this era, which brought out the stark difference in lifestyle between the rich and the poor, the power of the church made of interesting reading. It also made me think: Has that much really changed?

Aren't we slaves to our lifestyle today? Or to our jobs? Are holy men above foul deeds? Isn't politics influenced by religion? You only have to look up newspapers, including Indian newspapers to realize, not much has changed."
-- Lubna,

5/5 stars "One of the most brilliant books of its time,
J.Z. Colby really brings his characters to life. From page one I was hooked, and am still hooked as I eagerly await the release of his next books in the series, along with the long awaited audiobooks! Nebador has everything you could want from a science-fiction novel. Science (amazing, right?), growing and developing relationships, romance, hardships, intelligence, so on and so forth. J.Z. Colby makes the characters easy to relate to, to the point that I've gotten so attached I'm devastated when something isn't going right for them! Not only is it overall a good read that keeps you entertained throughout every sentence, but it also teaches you worldly lessons. Everything from math and science, to moral issues. It keeps you entertained with the relationships and romance, but Nebador always has a twist and turn coming up after you think you've figurd it out. An absolute must read! I was so impressed by the website., one of the best science-fiction novels of its time!!"
-- Katelynn, Oregon,

"I just read the ending to book 1 for third time.
I see more every time. I wasn't sure first time but now I'm sure I like Boro best. He needed someone to believe in him and the sage believed. That's so great."
-- Sean, Nebador citizen, 13

"This is my book report. This book split me into two parts.

The part of me that wants to grow up loved it because it was truly easy to learn things with Ilika. The part of me that wants everyone to like me didn't like it so much because in my street if you're smart people don't like you. The book is almost making me choose. I loved it and hated it. Please fix my spelling."
-- Mariah, 11, UK

"Thank you for a delightful story that these old eyes can read.

It is heartwarming to follow the adventures of these special young people. I rode a donkey when I was little, sometimes to school, even though I wasn't supposed to. Thank you for remembering to publish a large print. It was very easy to read because of the good line spacing. Even so, I may have to get the audio-book if my eyes get much worse."
-- Helen, retired social worker and mother, New Mexico

"Awaken to reading. There is a touch of magic between the covers of this book!

A young family member who lives with me has never been a reader. He would rather watch the TV. Yet, after reading the first book, he has begun talking about what he read, delighted at finding meaning and moral lessons in the story. He was anxiously awaiting Book Two, and ordered it as soon as it became available. It seems clear that J. Colby has found the language that reaches his young readers.

It is a wonderful thing to see a young person discover the joys of reading good stories, and so much more so when it is someone who previously avoided reading anything at all. We look forward to Book Three - let the adventure continue!"
-- Ruby Long,

"Fun and a good start for a great adventure. Cant wait for the next book.

After being recomended this book i went ahead and bought a copy. i was a little skeptical after hearing the book being described as for young teens or young adults a lot. Shortly after reading a few pages i was hooked unsure of how what i was reading went with the story like i have heard and read from the website. it soon made since. Here is the website for those interested [...]

The book has a lot of real world issues in it and can entertain as well as educate. I can not waite for the rest of the series to be released along with the audiobooks. Only downside i found in it was the shortness of the book but that is not a big deal sence it is a series and other books are on there way."
-- Carl Bennett "Lord Bear,"

"Our entire family loved this book!

My 9 year old son and 11 year old daughter both loved this book. My daughter had fun taking the tests herself, while my son chose to skim past those parts and get on with the story. As a parent, I love the way a group of kids starting from the most disadvantaged places and completely uneducated, are recognized for their natural abilities and given a chance to reach for the stars. The only thing holding them back is their own fears and insecurities. Witnessing each of these characters face up to their respective pasts and gain the confidence and knowledge to allow them to take advantage of the opportunities presented them, is a wonderful example of the value system I would like my children to embrace.

My children and I have had the opportunity to read and critique earlier versions of the first few novels in this series, so I can tell you NEBADOR Book One: The Test is only the very beginning of the adventure and we are excited to find out what happens next!"
-- Sheryl C. Johnson "Life long reader,"

"I can honestly say that I have never read anything like it.

I felt as if I was in the book; I could see the stores and carts in the market and feel the emotion and how hard it was for Ilika to give up on Kodi. I love how with every chapter brings a new question or mystery, all the way to the end and even then, there's plenty of mystery to last you until the next book."
-- Brie Polette, 17

"My kids loved this ...

My kids helped proofread this book for the author. It is the first book in a series. We are on book four right now and can't wait for the rest to come out. One of the features of this book (at least the version we read) was that some parts of the test were in the text. My kids wanted to see if they would pass the test like the other 'students' taking the test. Enjoy the read!"
-- "hard core consumer,"


A stranger comes to a backward land. His mission is to secretly find a crew of young people, aged 10-20, for his ship. Their journey will be long and dangerous. How to find the right young people among all the young people of the land. The children must be clever, brave, resourceful, and smart. Enemies are all around. Time is of the essence. Everything is at stake.

I have been a SF fan since I was ten. This is the most imaginative tale I have encountered. It will make you a SF lover for life."
-- Karen Pihlak, police captain, 1954-2009

"That bracelet

is probably the worst thing to happen to this book. I wish they would have a problem that's actually a problem, that the bracelet couldn't solve."
-- Elwin Aragorn, 17

NEBADOR Book Two: Journey

3/5 stars "The stories have solid and easily understood moral lessons."

The character development of the team is on the surface tight and underneath somewhat shallow. The story line is usually the need to travel somewhere new to solve a people problem. I've read the entire series through V7 and found them interesting but not compelling, as at my "elder" age I found the characters behaviors and actions somewhat predictable. However, I read the series to see how far the captain could take his young crew in personal growth. I'd recommend this for older children and the "young at heart" adults.
-- Dennis J. Anderson,

4/5 stars "I enjoyed seeing how the characters grew ...

and progressed during their journey from the place they called home. Wonderful follow-up to Nebador Book One: The Test."
-- Strogan, Florida,

4/5 stars "Journey was exactly what it was titled but not just a journey of adventure

for the characters in the story but a journey for their personalities and their growth as well. With all the relationships/bonds that have been made between this band of travelers, it's really created a new and exciting direction for the story and leaves me wondering what is up ahead.
-- Tbones,

5/5 stars "Love this series!

Can't wait to read the third book. Journey picks up from where The Test left off and is, as the title states, the journey that Ilika and his students make through the countryside. It's interesting to read about this time and place as well, and I do enjoy the refresher course in maths! ;) That's done in a way where you can learn (or revise) along with the students.

I'm not going to make any guesses about who Ilika is going to pick for his crew because I really can't decide anymore! I liked also how several of the students were faced with the choice of staying with the group or leaving for an opportunity they'd never really had before. Won't spoil who and what they choose, but one thing I have to say is I was actually really sad when Buna had to leave Noni behind! They would have made a lovely pair. :)"
-- S. Bell, UK,

4/5 stars "I like how the students are learning to rely on each other more,

and are building a true trust. Interested to see what happens when that trust is tested ...
-- Rebecca McKinnon, Utah,, author of The Refuge Trilogy

4/5 stars "I thoroughly enjoyed this novel; the second in the Nebador series.

As with his first novel, Colby has the rare ability to transport his readers into an imaginary world that is very realistic. Furthermore, Colby teaches his readers some important life lessons that are very thought provoking.

My favorite quotes from this novel are;

"There are a million things out there that can kill you, and about half of them are invisible"

"Personal power is the ability to stand on your own two feet, with a smile on your face, in the middle of a universe that contains a million ways to crush you"

"Never, ever limit yourselves to what other people would do"

"You have kept a little bit of childlike openness that allows you to scream when you are hurt, cry when you are sad, and run when you are afraid."

I cannot wait to read the next novel in the series."
-- Chenice, UK,

5/5 stars "I must say these books, have been really enjoyable to read.

I haven't wanted to put them down.
-- Daniel Cook, Arizona,

5/5 stars "Book two in the series, a continuing adventure.

You have to read book one in order to understand book two, but its well worth it."
-- Sabi Edwards, Saskatchewan,

5/5 stars "Excellent series. Great life lessons."
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland,

5/5 stars "Where NEBADOR Book One was a beautiful insight to human nature, Book Two: The Journey was a lesson in growth.

Often times, we wander through life and, if we're lucky, we stumble across where we want to be. Book Two, in my opinion, is a beautiful story about how we actually get there. In book two, relationships are tested and, in some cases, proven unbreakable. Many times this book broke my heart at the sheer truth of growing up not only physically, but emotionally. J. Z. Colby has a beautiful way of not only making a statement, but telling an incredible story that by the time I was done with this book, it certainly was not done with me."
-- Book0_0Wyrm, California,

4/5 stars "Excellent!! This book literally picks up where book one ends.

Many sequels are stand alone, with minor ties to the previous, but not here. The story continues, but becomes more intriguing and the characters build much more depth. New situations are faced leaving the reader with thoughts of how you might react in a similar situation, and often how choosing a different reaction is better. The group is learning fast and creating bonds that leaving your mind wandering ahead, feeling saddened to know that not all can continue in the end...but on another thought, is there an end, or is each step just another piece of the Journey!"
-- SBeasley, Arkansas,

4.5/5 stars "An exeptional book that continues on the enthusiasm of the first in to a grand and unfamiliar world,

allowing Colby's characters to explore now horizons and the challenges that accompany them. A truly remarkable novel.
-- Abrain, Arizona,

"I was pretty sure my daughter liked the first book,

then I bought the 2nd and 3rd -- she devoured them!! Now she has her friends reading MY books!"
-- Matthew Sabin, Idaho,

4/5 stars "Book two begins with the same level of trust between Ilika and his students that was developed in book one.

Ilika uses familar things from their surroundings to teach them such subjects as astrology, chemistry, mathematics and geology in order to equip them with the knowledge that they would require as members of his crew. Illika reinforces the fact that they need to work as a team and to resist the temptation to let their emotions and egos influence their actions since it would detroy and undermine the success of the bigger plan. He teaches them that a captain has to be able to depend upon his crew and shows them that it is more effective to use encouraging words rather than coercion to influence persons to carry out their assigned task. He also shows them that communication and trust are important but they also needed to make choices which were not based on thier emotions or their individual needs.He encouraged them to learn from their experiences and not to limit themselves by what other persons do.Ilika shows his students that things are never constant or predictable therefore they must be always be prepared for change. He impresses upon them the need to know when to be silent and when to speak. as well as to acknowledge the fact that they will always be persons who will require help but it was not possible to help everyone."
-- bgapb, Barbados,

3/5 stars "'What are your lessons about?' The students looked at each other, then all said at once, 'Everything!' (p. 74, medium print edition)

The adventures of Ilika and his nine students continue: after escaping the city where the students were tested, the countryside awaits them. The countryside challenges them: trust, happy and sad discoveries, love affairs, and they become aware that the journey is one way.

At the end of the book, coming to a mountain pass the group faces their past: from this high point of view, like a rite of passage, a step towards adulthood has been conquered.

'Ilika was very proud of all his students. Each had, in his or her way, wrestled dragons to help solve their first serious trigonometry problem.' (p. 269)

Colby chose trigonometry instead of dragons, vampires, etc. to talk to young adult. Is it a good choice? In part I think so, maybe the first book, The Test, narrated with an atmosphere of mystery (medieval city, monasteries, bracelet) grip the reader to the book better than Journey. Journey needs a bit of 'taste' of dragons.

'- I wonder if I'll have stories someday - Misa pondered out loud. - Someday, you'll be able to tell the story of the fire. ... Sometimes they're a little painful at first, but as time passes, they get easier to tell. Stories are like that.' (p. 243)
-- Graziano Ronca, Italy,,,

4/5 stars "I want to read this to my daughter in about a year.

I like the way the team members have to learn to rely on each other and grow in many ways as they make thier jurney. I can't wait to see what she thinks of this book."
-- Amy Rose, Ohio,

4/5 stars "Colton loved this one as much as the first."
-- Kimberlee & Colton, Arizona,

4/5 stars "... So, Journey, the sequel to the Test, picks right off where we left our heroes

as they continue to grow and change into the people they will become. Similarly to the Test, Journey features a lot of little lessons that make the book more interactive to the reader and gives you the feeling you're almost growing with the characters you're reading about. (I can't believe how interesting learning about math is) Journey, however, does one thing I found slightly lacking in the Test: Character development. In Journey, the characters you've just begun to get to know previously become much more deep and more complex than the first book. I felt a much bigger connection to many of them in this one (Kibi is still my favorite though :P) and had a harder time figuring out in my head who would end up being chosen than I did in the Test. I really appreciated the focus Colby placed in making these characters stand out so much more and giving us a hint of the complexities surrounding them that truly brought reality to their actions and words. The character development in this book, along with Colby's writing (which continues to be completely engrossing) really keep me interested and prevented from putting the book down. The plot, perhaps unsurprisingly since this is an ongoing series, lacks a bit in terms of actual action but the story is better served by the conflicts between and within the characters. All in all, this was a worthy sequel and gave enough of a cliffhanger for me to long for the next one. Thank you again J. Z. Colby! 4/5
-- Kereesa, Canada,

4/5 stars "I love all those pictures, schemes and graphics!!))"

Educational parts of the book - are my favourites) esp. part about information-driven communication)
-- Ria Rina, Russia,

5/5 stars "If I have to make one complaint about this series, it has to be the fact it wasn't out ten years ago!

It combines everything a young adult such as myself ten years ago would've wanted in a series; adventure and a survivalist journey, action and sci-fi elements, examples of human kindness and human cruelty, a simple medieval setting with a touch of romance! What's not to love?

After presenting such an original and absorbing story in the first novel of the Nebador series, a reader has to wonder if J.Z. Colby would be able to repeat this feat in Journey. Or would Book Two follow the same fate as many series and take a sudden downward spiral in the second novel? Well, I'm happy to report that no, Journey was not disappointing, and was packed with perhaps twice the excitement of its predecessor. Now that Ilika and his students no longer reside in the relative safety of a town inn, they're exposed to all the troubles the great outdoors has in store for them, from prowling thieves and superstitious rural peasants to rabid wolves and the occasional roaring forest fire!

If you enjoyed the first novel in the series, I'd definitely recommend you run out and grab yourself a copy of Journey, you won't be disappointed. Journey was no easier to put down than The Test.

The technology or "magic" which we were only exposed to hints of in Book One is finally being revealed in the sequel, though not to an extent that we're fully relieved of our curiosity for the mysterious devices. After all, if you know everything the world isn't nearly as exciting.

Alas, questions the first book left us with are not all yet answered. Where IS this mysterious ship anyway? What is it? Two novels in and I'm still not sure if Ilika is actually leading them anywhere towards the ship or if he's just taking his students on a countryside tour.

And talking about students, the agony of waiting for the pick is pure torture! I have two narrowed down that I personally think will be eliminated, but I wouldn't be surprised if my assumption is totally wrong. I may have been the only person in history that didn't guess the ending of Sixth Sense until it was totally laid out for us after all.

I'll leave this review on one last note...what are those sneaky priests up to?"
-- Shanna, USA,

5/5 stars "This book is exceptional in continuing the storyline.

The charactors are still just as great as in the first book. If u liked the first one you will love this one."
-- Mrdoan72, Missouri,

4/5 stars "At times, part 2 of a series

doesn't seem as interesting as the first book in the series. However, Journey, which is part 2 of the Nebador series is just as riveting.

In this book, Ilika and his group of nine students journey across the countryside, learning not just new lessons on trigonometric equations or astronomy but also learning about themselves. Yes, one can emerge stronger by overcoming one's own weakness. The importance of EQ, rather than mere IQ or physical power is also brought out in this book, as is the importance of kindness and respecting others.

Adaptability holds the key to not just success but even basic survival. At times, it is easier to run away from an alien environment, terming it to be evil or weird, instead of coming to grips with a new situation and adapting to it. Doesn't this sound familiar? Life is a constant journey and we do face the mental, emotional and physical challenges which Ilika and his students face in this book.

Rini is emerging as my favourite character and perhaps his feelings on the second last page of the book is something I can resonate with. I call myself a wondering wandering and Rini sums this best. I quote: The present moment in which his spirit could soar from ocean to mountains, hills to forests, was enough to make him happy. Even if he became a slave again, they could never take away his ability to be filled with the wonder an majesty of everything he saw, everything he touched, even everything he imagined.

As of now, all students journeyed across the countryside, they met little Kit – a free spirited soul yet tied down to his deceased mother, and little Misa who lost her parents in a town-fire and is travelling with them. They encountered physical challenges, emotional challenges, had to test their intellectual capacities. Some of them emerged stronger. Perhaps the next book will lead us closer to whom out of the nine students will be selected as the five crew members of the "magic" ship.

But even those who are left behind, will be better humans, having undergone various tests in their journey."
-- Lubna,

5/5 stars "As I wrote about the first book, pure brilliance!
"I found Journey had to have been my favorite of the two that have come out so far (eagerly awaiting the rest!). J.Z. Colby knows how to keep people at attention. Although it is recommended for young adults, which I agree with, I can say that I would recommend it to anyone regardless of age. Personally, I wasn't a science-fiction fan, until I read The Test, then I was hooked. I had to read Journey! This is a must read for people of all ages, it has a little something for everyone! Life lessons, growing and developing relationships, heartwarming characters, suspense, romance, and all throughout the book you feel as though you're developing your own personal relationships with the's hard to feel like you're not right there with them! Ilika, the main character, is definitely a keeper. An amazing creation, J.Z. Colby has made a character for everyone. Whether you're an Ilika, Kibi, Miko, Boro, Sata, so on and so forth, I find it impossible to not have a relationship and connection with each and every one of the characters! A must read series!! Between the first page to the last page, J.Z. Colby has shown true brilliance."
-- Katelynn, Oregon,

NEBADOR Book Three: Selection

5/5 stars "Awesome!!

This title had so much going on in it, and big things happened that left me shocked. I highly recommend this series."
-- Steven,

4/5 stars "As the series progresses, it becomes - for - me better.

I like seeing how the characters grow as they are exposed to new experiences and new situations. They don't always get along, but things always work out, even if not in expected ways. Look forward to seeing what comes next."
-- Strogan, Florida,

5/5 stars "book 3 focuses on the development of the students.

It shows a conscious effort on the part of the students to develop themselves by learning from past mistakes and experiences. Ilika continues to develop their technical knowledge by using their experiences. He develops Sata mapping skills by allowing her to map all of the trails, lakes and mountain peaks. He continues to develop them as a team by encouraging them to make decisions as a group. He challenges them to examine their weaknesses and to analyze any unfortunate situations as seen in Miko's death. He encourages them to take life by the horns and not to see themselves as victims. This book shows Ilika ability to gain the trust of his students something he needed to achieve before he brought them into contact with the ship and the work they will have to undertake. Book three to me is the climax of the two previous books
-- bgapb, Barbados,

5/5 stars "Nebador Book 3 was hands down my favorite in the Nebador series thus far!

Seeing who made the cut, and who didn't, was one of the most suspensful reads in the series so far! It had a few curves along the way, and although I won't spoil it and tell you who makes the final cut, I think you'll be satisfied. To see where Ilika's love life goes was a heartwarming tale, maybe a little shaky, but heartwarming none the less. To see where all of the relationships go and develop is a real treat. For anyone who has made it this far in the Nebador series, I think you're in for a ride. You won't be disappointed."
-- Katelynn, Oregon,

5/5 stars "So far, this is my favorite of the series.

Why? Because they get to the ship. While the story has been interesting, once the ship came into the picture things were more fun for me. Also, it was nice to have all my picks become the crew.
-- Rebecca McKinnon, Utah,, author of The Refuge Trilogy

4.5/5 stars "... So Selection starts out right after the events at the end of Journey,

with our group of 9 trainees, their buddy Misa and Ilika moving on and continuing their training till *drumroll* the final decision of who goes and who doesn't. As the story progresses, choices and mistakes are made that eventually weed out those who are meant to move on, and those who must stay behind. I wasn't very surprised at who were selected at the end of it, but was very happy with all those who made it, since I was a little scared my favorites weren't going to!

Character development gets even better in this one, and you can really see how well the set-up the author has done in the previous two books finally comes to fruition. Everyone gets more real, and you start to care for them a lot more. Conflict appears, as foreshadowed in the end of the last book, and is perhaps a little too quickly squashed, but there is enough emotion, suspense and fear for us to really worry about the characters.

The writing, as always, is engaging, thoughtful and clear. I love how the author is able to get me into the book without too much hassle, and keep me there even when I'm reading about supply runs! I'm curious to what's going to happen next, and I love watching these characters grow. If I could 4.5, but since I can't 4/5.
-- Kereesa, Canada,

3/5 stars "We will often get to do wonderful things." (page 281)

Selection is the third book of Nebador series where we read an important passage in the life of Ilika's students: he decides about who will become his ship's crew. The choice comes without many troubles, because it is expected so by the students.

The Ilika's 'brand new' crew stops learning pedibus scarpantibus and the sky becomes the classroom.

"The whole universe is like a huge college, and everyone is always learning new things." (page 77)

So from the sky comes the northern light or aurora borealis teaching to the students an universal law: humankind as infinitesimal part of the universe, although wonderful things are waiting for us.

Eventually a mention to Tera, the donkey: "Tera's heart beat a little faster deep in her chest from all the attention and kind words. She sensed that some kind of change was about to happen to her people, but didn't know what or why. However, she clearly felt drops of water fall onto her thin summer coat during that hour, and knew it wasn't raining." (page 150)
-- Graziano Ronca, Italy,,,

5/5 stars "Thought provoking. Deep, mindful reading. A must read.

The last series i loved this much was James Redfield's "The Celestine Prophecy".
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland,

4/5 stars "Another great continuation of a wonderful story, full of learning and growing.

As a reader you continue to become further attached to the characters, even those whose journey ends. This story keeps getting more and more complex, involving love and loss as well as fear and acceptance of the unknown. I have read 3 books in this series and feel almost as if the story is just beginning. I look forward to the continuation of Ilika and his crew and their journeys together in future books where I can already see them going anywhere and everywhere the imagination can take you. You created a universe where just about anything is possible and I commend you on it."
-- SBeasley, Arkansas,

5/5 stars "Often time when an author takes on the challenge of writing a series,

somewhere around book three the interest and artistry tend to falter. I am absolutely pleased to say that this certainly not the case with NEBADOR Book Three: The Selection. Up until now, Colby has taught us a lesson. And while I could go on and on about the inner lesson of Book Three, I must speak of the pure excitement this book brought me. The Selection was, in all senses of the word, a story, and a wonderful story at that. The Selection picks up speed as the final legs of Ilika's and five of his wards journey on the medieval world. This story catapults the reader along with the characters through moments of absolute beauty, times of tragedy, and instances where you just can't help but laugh at the things life can throw at you. All of the NEBADOR books, including this one, have been sensory experiences through the characters Colby has created. NEBADOR Book Three just adds an extra flare."
-- Book0_0Wyrm, California,

5/5 stars "I love the way the books progress

without spending the first few chapters recaping on the first books. I also liked the way the captian walked the reader through his decision on who he kept for his teem."
-- Amy Rose, Ohio,

4/5 stars "This has been my favorite novel in the series so far,

I love the amount of detail and description Colby gives in this book. Colby successfully heightens the emotions felt by the characters in the novel which is done in a realistic manner.

As with all key moments in life, as in this case "The Selection", some of us win and some of use lose but I love how Colby adds in two characters that choose to opt out of the opportunity to work on the ship, as presented to them.
-- Chenice, UK,

5/5 stars "A wonderful piece of literature for all readers that still manages to keep up the exitement and deep characterization of it's predecessors.

If you enjoyed books one and two you are definitly in for a treat.
-- Abrain, Arizona,

5/5 stars "The team gets selected.

I will not provided spoilers by saying who makes the final cut. But yes, it is a good team on an awesome ship all set to do some good in this Universe.

At work, we do become aware, sometimes by virtue of trial and error of the need for team work. No one, almost no one, can work in silos and be successful. As Ilika addresses his new team, he says: "Look around you. This is what I came here for. This is the new crew of a beautiful little ship of the Transport Service. These are the people you can count on to stand by your side, share the work and watch your back" I don't think team work can be described better than this. The need for diversity, inclusiveness and respect for each other across the entire team and not just the team on this ship is also amplified.

Reminds me of a situation when teams have to work across departments in the workplace. Yes, respect is vital and sometimes we don't pay enough heed to it.

Also it is essential for a leader of a team to play a team member's strengths and to step in only when necessary. This is exactly what Ilika does. Experience is of vital importance, and such experience does not mean work experience alone.

Haven't we seen instances in our world, where we have waited and watched helplessly for the government to act in times of say natural disasters, instead of pitching in ourself? Well, Ilika makes a reference to this. Hardship sometimes is the best tutor to equip us in life. Adventures lie ahead for the new crew of Ilika's ship and as we journey with them in the next Book, I am sure we shall learn something more.

This series is an excellent series, and you can read it on so many different levels. It isn't an ordinary science fiction series, that is for sure."
-- Lubna,

5/5 stars "A great book to read

and keeps up the great storyline as the first two. I cant wait to get book four, five and six."
-- Mrdoan72, Missouri,

5/5 stars "Alright, let's just accept if you're interested in the happenings of this book,

you've probably read the first two in the series, so no use recapping what's happened so far or what the general plot of the series has been building up to. Instead, on to Part 3, The Selection. What we've been waiting for since Part 1. Finally, we learn who will be the chosen five for the ship's crew!

After making it this far into the series I'm sure everyone has already come up with their own opinions on who will make it and who will be left behind. I wouldn't give away who is chosen and who is not, but I am happy to say three of my own guesses were right, though the reasons the others were not chosen are mostly unexpected and a bit shocking at times. And those "obvious" answers you know, yeah, don't count on it.

The Selection also contains probably what could be described as the most upsetting moment in the Nebador series so far. It comes out of nowhere and if you're a reader like me, you may have to backtrack for a moment, not believing what you just read. So unexpected! Actually, there's several unexpected moments in this book and I found I appreciated them all in their ability to leave me a bit speechless. I'm sure with a younger audience, an even stronger reaction could be predicted.

I don't want to give away much of this novel, as it is the most revealing of the series so far, and I'm sure the attentive reader is looking forward to reading for themselves what lies in the future of the ex-slaves and their leader, but I will at least say The Selection is a worthy successor of the first two books in the Nebador series and should eagerly be looked forward to by fans of the series. And yes, the ship IS finally revealed, for those of you who have been waiting through two novels already for that moment!

The worst part about this reading has to be the fact it'll still be months before the fourth novel is to be released! Oh the suspense!"
-- Shanna, USA,

5/5 stars "... We also finally get to meet the ship: Manessa.

She is fantastic and I love the detail that goes into explaining the five's training... if you read it carefully enough, you could also step up to the mark if called in. ;) It was also fantastic clashing the medieval students with suddenly a HUGE dose of the future!"
-- S. Bell, UK,

"Got my book 3 ordered!

And i took a chance and read the learning notes and dont think they were spoilers, made me even more excited to read it. i hope I get the first copy! btw i'm 15 now."
-- Running Cat, Nebador citizen, 15

4/5 stars "I'm looking forward to the next one.

This book was a little slower. However, it had a great finale.
-- Daniel Cook, Arizona,

NEBADOR Book Four: Flight Training
and the short story Kibi and the Search for Happiness by Katelynn Persons

5/5 stars "... just as exciting as the first 3 in this series.

This title, titled Flight Training, is just that, training/adventures to prepare the crew of the Manessa for there far off travels. I really enjoyed all the lessons they were learning and how stressful each situation was for the crew, and the finishing test was quite a surprise and one that wrapped this book up with some intense scenes.

Also, at the end of this title is a fantastic short story to give just a little bit more icing on the cake :o)
-- Steven,

"Very cool piloting story!

I've been enjoying these books, but Four really thrilled me, as I'm a pilot. It was just too good, so I got suspicious, finally read the author bio, and realized you're a pilot too! Thank you for such a great piloting story, complete with the Deadly Attitudes, in a form accessible to teens (I have 2 that are threatening to steel my nebador books).
Brenda B., Colorado, email

4/5 stars "I think is my favourite book out of the Nebador series so far.

I loved how Colby's writing had me engaged and immersed in the book at all times and I just couldn't wait to pick up the next book in the series.

I think this is the best book for character development and Colby shows us more about the complexities of relationships, working with those people we are involved with and so forth.

For me, the key themes in this novel were; relationships, trust and friendship. I would definitely recommend this book.

Congratulations to Katelynn Persons also for her short story. A great read.

[from private correspondence] I wanted to share with you some quotes that I really loved and how I understood/perceived them.

1. "All my life I was told if I ever lost my crutch, I wouldn't get another one. I'd die, right there, wherever I was."
While I was never told told that if I lost my -support- I wouldn't get any more, I think a lot of people, myself included at some point in my life I'm sure, thinks that if you don't have support be it a crutch, a person, an organisation etc that we'd die. We'd have nothing. I don't agree. We are survivors and we learn to get on with life. Without a great deal of support we all become stronger and I think there comes a time for everyone when the 'crutch' needs to be taken away so we can learn to stand on our own two feet.

2. "I could never trust my life to something, or someone, I didn't respect."
I agree with this quote whole-heartedly. Respect is a huge thing for me and is the basis of any form of relationship.

3. "...Can anyone have a close relationship with anyone else, no matter who or what they are?"
As I've mentioned to you before, in my opinion, relationships are between two people those two people alone. So many outside 'forces' and people try to control the relationship even though they are not in it. So many people have an opinion on who a person should or shouldn't be dating and I really think this quote sums that up. It doesn't matter who you are or where your from or what age, class or nationality you are, it's between the two people only.
-- Chenice, UK,

5/5 stars "... one of my favorites as it introduces the "human factor" in flying.

As a flight instructor, we deal with all of the human factors and the hazardous attitudes of each of our students, because flying is not just about watching guages, manipulating controls and levers. If you are not feeling well, not eaten properly, or have life and home issues --- your mind will not be in the aircraft; which can result in life or death situations which may not resolve themselves successfully. As a flight crew member your whole being must be attuned to the flying experience, of the ever-constant changing 'moment of now' or bad things begin to happen in series. The young hero's are learning how to face new evolving situations, environmental and human challenges by thinking and reasoning ahead of the 'games afoot'. Like Rini almost finding himself a married man by not being observant in the 'moment of now' as various clues presented themselves to him."

Great storyline and most entertaining; I have recommended it to may of my friends."
-- Anne, Washington,

4/5 stars "At least now we know that they are human.

A concern with some of the children that were selected for the crew was how they appeared that they were flawless. This book brought out inadequacies that each of us may have and not realize we do until it is brought right in front of our face. I was pleased with how they were able to overcome these issues and grow from it.

The portion of the book that I enjoyed most was the wedding that we didn't know was a wedding until afterwards. Many time in travels we are ignorant of customs of the countries we travel in and fain ignorance when we cross that boundary. How we respond to those situations shows a maturity or lack thereof. How this was portrayed and the resolution was done very well, and was enjoyable to read."
-- Michael,

4/5 stars "Another great addition to the series!

This book allows us a taste of the authors vivid imagination. It was written as though the author had actually flown a ship, and experienced the controls first hand. It is wonderful how the experiences thus far are so foreign, yet things that one could most likely find here on our planet. I look forward to seeing how the other worlds will be in future books. I must also mention the crew, they continue to grow and learn. The reader becomes more attached to each crew member along the way. I commend J.Z. Colby on writing such wonderful life lessons, but combining them with his imagination for an excellent read that keeps you wanting more."
-- SBeasley, Arkansas,

5/5 stars "A lot of great things happen in this fourth installment.

Characters learn to overcome personal weaknesses, they learn to fly the ship and how to handle different emergencies, and many other things, which I won't include so I don't give things away. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to learning what happens when the crew experiences space for the first time.
-- Rebecca McKinnon, Utah,, author of The Refuge Trilogy

5/5 stars "Like books 1-3 before it, Nebador Book Four was absolutely stunning.

The ideals brought forth in this book about life and they way we classify it is something I can only hope future generations can grasp on to. The world would be a much better place for it if people began giving life the same respect Ilika teaches his students to. I remember when I received Book One some time ago. On the front of the book was the caption "An epic young-adult science fiction adventure." When I had finished with the book, I remember thinking, "There's no way a child would understand the rich lessons and ideals in here." However, after reading Book Four and setting aside my own ignorance, I realized that children really are the only ones who would not only understand the concept, but be able to accept it. When we grow up, many of us find ourselves staking claims in the world we have no right to stake. We tear down trees to make bigger buildings, kill animals not only for food, but for sport, and we treat each other the same as the trees and animals. Book Four is a complete 180 from our views of the world, and a refreshing one at that. Now, all seriousness set aside for a moment, this book was also incredibly entertaining. The Nebador Series is like a flower in bloom: Each opens itself just a little wider each time. J.Z. Colby masterfully weaves his lessons into magnificent tales of friendship, growth, and love. I will be anxiously awaiting to see the new worlds and adventures awaiting the crew of the Manessa Kwi.
-- Book0_0Wyrm, California,

4/5 stars "Each book in the Nebador series leaves me with a powerful statement,

something that I can relate to and follow. In this book, as Ilika and his chosen crew set off for training sessions on board the magnificent ship Manessa Kwi, Ilika shares a lesson. "My teachers often told me," Ilika shared, "that half the job of learning anything is deciding to". Not only does everyone learn, but Kibi and Sata also learn to overcome their fears.

Crew members are permitted to choose their destinations for the training flights. Thus, Manessa Kwi is piloted to deserts, ice-lands and waterfalls. But Kibi's choice is different. It is a city, that she wanted to see. Sometimes it is difficult to understand whether a social norm is good or bad. In this city, everyone is kept alive as long as possible, even if they are in pain and begging to die. The impact of an overpopulation nation is not difficult to see, in terms of polluted rivers, starving people, lack of fertile soil.

Living in Mumbai, India, I see the sky line changing right before my very eyes. I know for a fact that water may soon be a scare commodity here. Yes, we live on the coast, but does saline water help? We still haven't learnt to distill it. Our population continues to increase. While Mumbai is an integral part of India and people will continue to throng Mumbai in search of jobs, it is essential to ensure that there is development across the nation and that cities, such as Mumbai do not get overburdened. This chapter, where Manessa Kwi zooms over the dead and decaying city provided me with much food for thought.

The space ship also had its first guests, one of whom, hijacked the pilot and the ship. But it ended well. I loved the last paragraph of this book: As he (Ilika) glanced around the bridge (at his crew), he knew that both physical and emotional weakness remained, but also the strength and determination to keep chiselling away at those weakness until the universe was theirs to explore.

I have seen people successfully overcome their own weakness, learn new skills, be more flexible at the workplace and succeed. Yet others, have withdrawn into their shells, not accepted new challenges, nor new realities of the workplace and are yet to find a solid footing.

We alone can decide what we need to learn and learn it, what our weakness are and overcome the same (with support from family/friends and even professional support). As always, this book was a great read and not a mere sci-fiction fantasy, but a book that teaches a lot, albeit in an interesting manner.
-- Lubna,

5/5 stars "A very excellent next book in the Nebrador series. Very well done."
-- Bob, New York,

4/5 stars "... Flight Training ... focuses mainly on the crew's developing abilities

in learning how to fly as well as facing their individual challenges in understanding the deep commitment they have to undertake in becoming a part of Ilika's crew. Each of the five individuals will have to face their fears, inside and out, and learn what it means to depend on one another in the toughest of situations.

I really enjoyed the fourth installment of this series. My favorite characters are still there, they're still learning, and the story is as interesting as ever. I didn't like this one as much as I did Selection, the third in this series, though I think this is because Flight Training was much about the characters' learning process and thus doesn't move the plot as much as Selection did. In spite of this, however, Flight Training did have the best character development so far, and I really felt how far each of the individuals had grown and become so much more stronger. I really loved the way the author focused on showing us how the various characters overcame their problems while still leaving room for them to grow even further in the next books. Their conflicts, internally and externally, are especially evident in this one, and I was left brimming with curiosity to what was going to happen and how these characters were going to adapt in the future.

As always the writing, even if the plot wasn't as riveting as the previous one, kept me entertained and pushed at me to keep reading. All in all, another great book in the Nebador series. 4/5
-- Kereesa, Canada,

5/5 stars "Excellant, exciting adventure.

Keep them coming J.Z!"
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland,

3/5 stars "The quote that better describe Nebador book four (Flight Training) is:

"If Kibi - or any of you - ... can't learn to use your feelings as guides instead of masters, then you must like slavery more than you realize." (page 27)

Five boys and girls, after being chosen as Ilika's crew, have to grow up facing happiness (such as love stories, learn a lot of interesting stuff), and difficulties (growing up is always a sloping path).

"So ... by passing those tests back at Doko's Inn, I was applying for the hardest job in the whole ... universe?" (page 69)

So Kibi understands which is the hardest job: not only the test per se, but becoming adult.

For the same reason Ilika suggests that "Going into space is pretty complicated, ... Yes, it's one of the biggest tests a civilization goes through before ... growing up. For you five, it will mark the end of your lives as simple people from a little kingdom, and the beginning of your adventures in the vast universe." (page 255)

"We have made you (Adam) a creature neither of heaven nor of earth, neither mortal or immortal, in order that you may, as the free and proud shaper of your own being, fashion yourself in the form you may prefer." (Oration on the Dignity of Man)
-- Graziano Ronca, Italy,,,

5/5 stars "An absolutely ripping adventure!

I love how we're told a lot of detail about piloting Manessa, but it's done in a rather simple way so it all makes sense, and things are explained clearly - to the readers, as well as to the crew in training.

Loads of exciting stuff in here, including Manessa being hijacked with only Mati on board! (The resolution of that was quite awesome. :D) But the most fantastic part, to me, was how they traveled all over the world, seeing such different and amazing sights - from jungles to hot springs to polar ice caps, to very different cultures, to deserts, to glorious waterfalls... the works. An incredible travelogue indeed and I loved how much description went into all the different places, as well as the journeys to them - and of course, the figuring out of the journeys to them! Many thanks to the wonderful Mr. J.Z. Colby for sending me a copy of Flight Training. :)

ETA: omg I just figured out who (what?) Manessa reminds me of: H.E.L.E.N from Ocean Girl! So I was totally hearing all of Manessa's words said in the voice of Nina Landis which was really kind of awesome."
-- S. Bell, UK,

4.5/5 stars "well what can i say. another great book

in a great series of books. keep up the good work J.Z. colby. cant wait for the next books to come out"
-- Mrdoan72, Missouri,

4/5 stars "The end of book three and the entirety of book four is where the story really starts to pick up.

It teaches good life lessons, along with critical thinking skills, all the while keeping you entranced with a fascination of the unknown. The characters are well thought out and developed by this point, yet they still do things to surprise the reader. And with the story still on an exponential curve of excitement, I can't wait to read the following books."
-- Joshua,

NEBADOR Book Five: Back to the Stars
and the short stories Buna's New World by Karen Buchanan and First Taste of Freedom by Katelynn Persons

3/5 stars "All Quiet on the Western Front (or the stars).

Space separates the children from the grown-ups. Your age doesn't matter. If you are nine, and you are aiming your life toward standing on your own two feet and dealing with hard, cold reality, you are leaving childhood behind. (4)

"It's a time honored rule," Ilika began, "that a commander must have complete command to deal with unexpected situations, the ability to change any previous command or break any rule. Every emergency is different No one can anticipate what will be needed. That is one reason Manessa, who is only sentient, must have a sapient crew." (101)

The commander of the Manessa Kwi, an ex-slave who used to have lice in her hair, listened as each of her crew members gave status reports.
-- Graziano Ronca, Italy,,,

4/5 stars "I thoroughly enjoyed this book,

while I still stand by book 4 being my favourite in the series so far. True to form, Colby engages his readers and keeps you fully entertained, educated and challenged throughout the novel.
-- Chenice, UK,

4/5 stars "Another terrific addition to the Nebador series!!

J.Z. Colby has done it again, creating an environment in which you feel like you are taking part and learning along with the crew of the Manessa Kwi. Just when you feel like you have seen as deep into the characters as is possible, somehow their depth gets stronger and draws you to them even more. All the places the crew visits are described in such detail, along with the voyage to get them their, that you feel as though this book is written from first hand experience.

I also really enjoyed the additional short stories and commend J.Z. Colby on allowing the young authors a wonderful opportunity to be published and begin their portfolio in connection with such a wonderful series."
-- SBeasley, Arkansas,

"Finished book 5 ... Wow! It's still burning in my brain.

My daughter and I have been discussing it -- thanks for something in which she and I can get so deeply involved."
-- Matthew Sabin, Idaho,

5/5 stars "This series just keeps getting better and better. I really liked this one."
-- Bob, New York,

5/5 stars "Woo, I really loved this installment in the series :D

It was nicely fast-paced and thrilling, and I was especially pleased to be given a quick glimpse of Noni... though sadly it was only that one, brief glimpse and Buna wasn't mentioned. Would have liked a little more, but I'm still happy with what I got :)

I do enjoy the way there's so much maths and science in these books. They're great for the hidden nerd within and I find them fascinating. I drifted off on a half-hour tangent when reading, remembering fondly the astronomy classes I took at uni...

I loved the exciting journey through the Sonmatia solar system. You don't have to be a total sci-fi nut to enjoy reading these books - I'm not at all, but I find them addictive.
-- S. Bell, UK,

4/5 stars "The end of the solar system is not the limit

for the crew on board Manessa. The real star-drive will help Ilika and his crew (mortals of fresh and blood) to move on, with the help of powers of the universe. But before they fly onwards to the star zone, much beyond the 'reachable' solar system, they have a lot to learn from planet-hopping in the solar system itself.

They travel from one strange planet to another, each planet and its environment is testing them, their skills, their learning prowess and even their readiness to die! Do they emerge successful? I shall not spill the beans, but leave it to you to find out for yourself.

... The power of focus: The story begins with my favourite character Rini getting lost in the beauty of space ...

... The power of diversity: ... Sata who connected with the navigator of another Nebador ship, learnt about a different kind of diversity. Drrrim-na, navigator of the Tirilana Kril, a life monitor Nebador ship, was a bird! ...

... The dangers of climatic change, what are we doing about it? Ilika gravely told Mati and the others, "Every sapient race goes through this test, arranged by the overseers of the universe. Every planet full of people eventually discovers enough knowledge and power to change their climate. ..."

... Live each day as if it is your last: Neither the wise Ilika nor the able and experienced Manessa can help the crew out of a desperate situation. ...

... At the end of the book ... Another new journey awaits them. So as 2012 has just dawned on us, another journey awaits us as well and it is up to us how we traverse upon life's path in 2012.
-- Lubna,

5/5 stars "A lot has happened to the small crew of the Manessa Kwi since this series began.

They've left behind their lives of slavery, gained an education, and traveled. In this installment of the Nebador books, the journey through the stars begins. The ship visits several planets, learning something vital at each stop. One stop requires each character to delve inside themselves to discover strengths they didn't expect to find.
-- Rebecca McKinnon, Utah,, author of The Refuge Trilogy

5/5 stars "I have been waiting

for the time when Ilika and his crew would explore the stars and I was certainly not disappointed in the outer space world and adventures J.Z. Colby created in NEBADOR: Back to the Stars. Normally when we read books in a series, we have hopes of what could happen to make the world that has been promised to us more real. Often, we are disappointed because maybe the surroundings weren't specific enough or we weren't given the chance to really know the environments we're in. A good writer will make a world or place that we can't experience in real life feel real to us and that is exactly what we are given here. On all of the planets explored, I always felt I was right there with the crew, imagining the beautiful crystals, the dangerous climates, every little detail was available to me from my comfy chair I sat in as I read this book. Detail is everything to a reader when we can't access places in real life and Colby is a master of detail. Also, this book, like many in this series, made me think on a deeper level. Without giving any specific details to anyone who hasn't read this book (and if you haven't I strongly suggest that you do) this book made me think about death and if I would have the strength to accept it. Death will come for us when it's ready, but the question is how we will handle it when it comes, and this book made me think of my answer. This book was another amazing installment to the NEBADOR series and, as always, I cannot wait for more.
-- Book0_0Wyrm, California,

5/5 stars "Enthralling, immersive and haertrending.

Strap yourself in for the ride! Things don't always go to plan."
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland,

5/5 stars "... I couldn't put it down!

Nebador #5 is probably my favorite of the Nebador books thus far! With new adventures and characters to love, I couldn't put it down! A MUST read for Nebador lovers and science fiction lovers in general!"
-- Katelynn, Oregon,

5/5 stars "like all the other books in this series

it did not disappoint. j.z. Colby u done a wonderful job. i highly recommend this series of books"
-- Mrdoan72, Missouri,

4/5 stars "After reading the first five novels in this series,

I can honestly say this is probably close to being my favorite of all of them. Back to the Stars, while still young in terms of the projected longevity of this series, really brought together all the things I love about the Nebador series. While still keeping true to its 'teaching' routes, the novel brings in character development, as well as a healthy dose of conflict, both mentally and physically. We also get a lot more hints and information about the world Colby is bringing slowly into focus, which I'm always a fan of.

World-building, heck yes.

The writing, as always with this series, was engaging, and quickly got me into the world just as fast as all the others did. Even flipping through the pages when I started writing through this review to refresh myself brought back all sorts of memories for me.

While I don't want to give away any spoilers, I must say I really enjoyed the conflict in this one. The characters' doubts, and even my own about how they were going to get out of the situation they were in really showed me how invested I was in them.

All in all, this was definitely one my favorite novels in the Nebador series. Everything, from the usually teaching aspect to the way the main conflict is handled, was very well done. 4-4.5/5
-- Kereesa, Canada,

4/5 stars "I said that the fourth book in the series was my favorite. It has now changed to this one.

The learning curve that the children have had to go through is something that many of us have not even experienced in out lives. On a daily basis we are faced with life and death situation that we are oblivious too. This children had to deal with the fact of immortality and have to accept that our lives are finate. We have to be able to acknowledge that we must choose our lives path and be able to live with the choices we made. Keep the stories coming Colby, I can't wait.
-- Michael,

5/5 stars "The story becomes better and more interesting the farther out the scope of the story becomes.

The crew of the Mannessa Kwi(I think I spelled that correctly) quickly outgrows the knowledge of the little kingdom that had been where they had spent most of their lives, as they further experience events and see sights unfathomable to the people of their old home, and they began to get used to living among the stars. As the scope of the crews knowledge grows, so does the excitement of the story itself, making it so I cannot wait to read book six and up.
-- Joshua,

4/5 stars "This is a great book and a great series.

I highly recommend Nebador to any who like real science and good sci fi.

The Nebador series by J.Z. Colby is a great read for the entire family. Many topics come up in the series that are trending today as well as topics that are controversial. The author also shows the need for education and a clear head thru out the series, that the characters must need to learn. And as the reader we can also learn some of their lessons in the story, some even with diagrams to help aid in understanding.

In book 5 "Back to the Stars," the crew of the Manessa Kwi finely get to do some real space travel. Training however has not ended. they quickly learn how poor choices and bad stewardship of a planet can have a devastating outcome. Different races of people from the planet the crew is from is nothing they find out when they finally talk via video with a feathered alien. However they find out that accepting they will die in only a few days is the hardest thing they have ever done to this point.

I really like this series. There is a few things i dont totally agree with though through the story. Some of the character interaction some times seems off. For example seems lacking in conflict when i feel there should be. But in any case going along also with the storyline shows to a point why that isn't there. The characters that were chosen for a reason.
-- Carl Bennett,

NEBADOR Book Six: Star Station
and the short story Neti's Temptation by Karen Buchanan

4/5 stars "Another great novel from Colby.

I loved how the vulnerability and emotions of Kibi were explored throughout this novel. I think she is the character I can relate the most to.

I found the group dimensions of the novel very relatable and relevant. As with any situation where you live with more than one person, a vacation for example, people take on different roles and this novel definitely highlights the positives and negatives of this.

Generally, the novel is easy to read with short chapters and a subtly intelligent writing, making it accessible for all age groups to read (regardless of academic background).

The 'After Thoughts' from Colby are well worth the read, as is Karen Buchanan's short story, 'Neti's Temptation'. Congratulations Karen!
-- Chenice, UK,

5/5 stars "We've been reading this series as a family and really enjoyed it.

I sent this particular book (a large print version) to my 101 year old grandmother!
-- hard core consumer,

5/5 stars "I would have to say this is one great book.

The charactors, story line are wonderful. The whole series of books is a joy to read i highly recommend them."
-- Mrdoan72, Missouri,

4/5 stars "Book six was a delight to read.

It was the first time the crewmembers faced challeges that they weren't guided along. We saw the crew make mistakes that we all make in life, and the crew had an oportunity to make it right. I am looking forward to the continued story of the crew and what insights they we bring to the readers."
-- Michael,

5/5 stars "My daughter and I began reading the "Nebador" series as manuscripts.

She was 10 at the time, and neither of us could wait to get the next book into our hands. We have read all 7 available manuscripts, and the complete set of published books. We LOVE the series, and have shared "Nebador" with several people. To date, of the readers with whom we've shared "Nebador," from the youngest (10 years old) to the oldest (80 years old), no one who has read it has told us they did not enjoy it. Quite the contrary, in fact. Most comments we've heard are similar to, "I've never read anything like it." "It's sci-fi, but not the usual 'put human problems into outer space and adjust the vocabulary' style."

Check it out! If you don't like it, you'll only be out a few hours of your time. But we're very sure you WILL like it."
-- Cecelia Harper, Washington,

5/5 stars "First off, this book kept my attention so well,

that I read it from the moment it arrived in the mail, to me typing this later that same day. While in the last two books, the group had remained for the most part isolated from other beings, this story starts off throwing them into a realm full of unfamiliar customs, where they meet strange friends, and question some perspectives of their lives that had always felt so certain and used everywhere.

With a new setting, and new faces, new aspects of each of the crew members comes to the surface, where they have to face them head on, or turn around, give up everything, and go home."
-- Joshua,

5/5 stars "The challenges continue for Ilika and his crew,

sometimes "rules are made to be broken".
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland,

4/5 stars "This whole series is great,

and very educational for the target age group. A lot of kid will groan at that. They read to escape lessons. But these are done in a way that doesn't feel forced. While some of the lessons are actually lessons, others are extrapolated from the experience of the characters.

This installment is very imaginative. While the characters are still growing and learning (a good lesson that inquisitiveness and a desire to improve yourself is a life-long process), they're experiencing a new place, complete with multiple cultures and understandings.

As this book comes to a close, it rounds out the main story arcs of the series. There are so many more places for the story to go, but if you don't want to commit to such a long series, this would be a good stopping point. Although, once you're hooked on these characters, you won't be able to walk away!"
-- Rebecca McKinnon, Utah,, author of The Refuge Trilogy

5/5 stars "Back to the Stars & Star Station are most intriguing and insightfull studies of human nature,

and how we deal with new unusual situations where the event could be life threatening if we do not make the right choices in a timely fashion and follow through with the confidence needed.

The author JZ Colby shows the young heros learning how to consider and evaluate the risk involved in a task, action or event and be able to make wise choices that will enable them to manage and reduce their risk. Ilika has given them the tools necessary for good quality decision making in the form of education, experience and training; but our attitude, background and predisposition are contributing factors that often have to be overcome in order to sometimes save the day. In life and death struggle(s), when all ideas are exhausted, it is best to just "let go" in order to understand what it is that we FEAR about DEATH.... in order to really embrace LIFE and LOVE.

Star Station is a wonderful place full of exciting oppertunities, great beings for our young heros to interact with, and find pleasure in their company.... (and yes, I too, would love to be a Citizen of Nebador). Most people on our planet Earth would not be able to deal rationally and with love if beings from other worlds came to visit. We have mulled over the idea of other types of beings in the Universe, and that we may not be alone in tHe Universe; but most would be unable to "let go" of the FEAR which leads to HATRED of all things different. But even as we saw with the Lizard Race hope can be found among the open and aware young, that with the guidance of a few enlightened, wise adults can show others the way toward an Enlightened, Loving Age within the Universal Family. Thank you JZ Colby, your stories are Brilliant!!!!"
-- Anne, (under NEBADOR Trilogy Two)

5/5 stars "BEST YET!!!

Another amazing story in the Nebador series. As the title suggests, the crew makes it to the Star Station and we enter the amazing imagination of JZ Colby. As I stated in a previous review of the Nebador series, Colby created a world where there are endless possibilities, and he continues to intertwine life lessons to help the reader grow mentally, while entertaining the reader with a page turner that is hard to put down. I love the crew and in each book we get to know them better and better, and find that in many ways we have commonalities of each of them, so in turn we learn from each of them, in both their mistakes and well as their triumphs. In my opinion this series should be a must read for all young adults.
-- SBeasley, Arkansas,

5/5 stars "The series has had me hooked, since the day I read the first book.

This is the sixth book in the Nebador series and as you can see, I'm a big fan. The series begins (Book One) when Ilika the captain of the deep space response ship Manessa arrives in a medieval kingdom seeking a crew for his mysterious ship. Those who pass his initial test are a bunch of slaves and an inn keeper's daughter. The final few who qualify include: Rini, Mati, Kibi, Sata, and Boro.

The previous book had them planet hopping but now they've flow on to the star zone, much beyond the reachable solar system and have their own lessons to learn on Star Station Satamia (where hopefully Mati's knee will be operated upon).

Here, they learn that in order to be true citizens of Nebador they need to always keep learning and growing. Of course, on the backward planet where they were born, the kingdom had no larger purpose. People lived as best as they could, accomplished a few things in their lives or didn't accomplish anything at all. Life revolved around living for yet another day, and if being cruel (such as towards slaves or animals) meant you had a more 'luxurious' life, well that was just the way it was. Through their journey Ilika crew learnt this was not the ideal way to live. This message was reinforced on the star station.

The lessons that the crew learnt and which I learnt as well, are captured below:

1) Complete awareness of everyone and complete attention to all my responsibilities: While Kibi goes through a rigorous formal psychic development program, others learn this message in different ways. Boro through his juggling classes and Sata through her dancing classes. Only when one is aware of the environment around them, can they see what others can't see. The next step then on becoming aware is to be responsible. For instance, when Kibi first started her training, she sensed 'fear' in the water in which she was diving, but she failed to notice a little lost creature whom she could have helped. Or when Boro tried to juggle and do his other activities at the same time, which included merely walking around, he did bump into things. This lesson may be difficult to master, but it is so crucial to be a good human being.

2) Do not judge others by their appearance alone: The 'big story' in this book is about Mati's surgery. She is so looking forward to standing on her own two feet again and discarding her crutch forever. Unfortunately, the only surgeon who can successfully fulfill this dream of hers is a giant 'monster' - a 3 meter tall large green gangly insect with claw like mandibles. Howeveer, Mati manages to overcome her fear of her surgeon K'stimla and prepares for surgery. The surgery itself becomes complicated, inner fears lead to Mati slipping away, the purple spirit (many creatures of pure light also exist on Satamia) has to deepen the link between Rina and Mati, to enable Rina to penetrate deep into Mati's mind and conquer her past fears. Fear cripples in its own way. Now they will never be free of each other's thoughts and feelings. Rini readily agrees to take this step to save Mati. In fact, in this book, both of them share the joy of their 'marriage' with other star-ship residents. Of course, each crew member and not just Mati, has to learn to deal with creatures who look different. For instance, it took Boro some time to get used to a ursine docking controller but Glorm and he soon bonded over a fishing expedition. We often judge others at first glance, Ilika's crew learnt how wrong they could be and so did I.

3) Sometimes things are not what they seem: The star station is housing a group of reptiles, who were rescued when their planet became extinct. They are housed in a simulated desert environment, but something is wrong. The females refuse to mate and their numbers are dwindling, plus attempts to find another planet for them continue to fail. Mati makes the mistake of opening the door of this simulated environment with the help of Sata. (She opens the door because she wants the creatures to experience freedom, just as she now experiences freedom without her crutches. Her intentions are good but the immediate consequences are not what she expected.) The reptilian creatures venture out of this gap, but are dazed with what they see on the star ship, and accidentally a baby ursine is also killed in the bedlam. Of course Mati and Sata have to make amends. A huge step has to be taken by them, in other words, they have to be physically transformed into these reptiles. Rini guesses the male reptiles would want to mate with them and ventures forth to protect Mati. Boro follows suit. Thus all four transformed reptiles find themselves in this simulated environment so that they can learn about them and help them find a new home. Sata's outburst that they are different and are from the star station results in a revolution of sorts and they finally learn that the original environment of these reptilian creatures was a wet, humid jungle and not a desert. The task to find them a new suitable home begins anew and there is a successful ending.

Similarly, sometimes in life, one needs to stand back, probe, find out more, reach a suitable conclusion and then take proactive steps in the right direction. Jumping to conclusions based on assumptions or rudimentary information doesn't help.

The author, J.Z. Colby in his chapter 'Afterthoughts' points out: ...I'm sure you know by now, this story isn't really science fiction..... If the Nebador stories have anything to leave to the world, it is a glimpse of the difference between reality and the many layers of assumptions and myths that most people live by. If while reading these stories, you have experienced even a tiny peek beyond normal 'monkey-mammal' (Ilika's crew is referred to as monkey-mammals by other residents of the star station) thinking, then you have set your feet on the path to Nebador (by whatever name)!

Nebador is a great series and this particular book is one of my favourites in that series. Each page is a gem.
-- Lubna,

3.5/5 stars "All in all, I enjoyed Star Station. It was engaging, fit well with the series, and packed full of adventure.

While I was definitely bothered by a few things, the book as a whole was good and didn't stop from wanting to find out what happens next. 3.5/5

I was surprised at how hard a time I had liking this novel in the Nebador series. In essence, it had so many of the features I wanted from this series: romance, character development, answers, but somehow didn't work for me as they had done in previous volumes. In other words, I couldn't fall into the world Colby had created as easily as I had in book two or five (my favorites in the series). And I think a lot of the reasons why I couldn't get into it this time around had a lot to do with the characters sexual experiences, and the way certain character developments were handled. To be specific, I didn't like the way both Saba and Kibi (my personal favorites) handled sexuality as a whole.

Kibi's experience was well done, in my opinion, but suffered from too quick a resolution. Her encounter was believable, and really brought about an extraordinary issue for a hormonal, yet committed, older teen: lust. It was, however, much too easily solved with a few classes and a generalized statement that basically stated her reaction was normal, because everyone fell in love or lust with this particular character. I understand that Kibi obviously hasn't finished her training, and that there is room within the series for her to continue to deal with this issue, but I felt it a little too easily wrapped up within this volume in particular. I also wanted to see a bit more of Ilika's reaction to this, and how that might've affected their relationship.

(Maybe I like my angsty drama times a bit much...)

Sata was really where I felt odd about this volume. Maybe it's because she was (if memory serves) originally eleven in the first book, and it's hard for me to imagine such a young girl feeling some very adult emotions and desires, even if it is a few years later. That's not to say that teens can't be lustful, but I just wasn't comfortable with the language used to describe it in some cases. (The reptile event I'll let slide, seeing as it is animal instinct, but otherwise...) It's probably due to the fact that my younger brother is so young, and it's hard for me to see him as having anything near the emotions Sata goes through within this volume.

There were, however, a lot of things I really did enjoy in this volume. The dislocation and relocation of the reptile species was deftly done, though the fact that it was just a test and could've been easily solved did irk me a little. (I like when there are huge risks) The Star Station as a whole was very fascinating, and I enjoyed the intermingling of alien, fish, and animal life-forms. Mati's surgery was another high point, and I was glad to see a struggle within the event.
-- Kereesa, Canada,

4/5 stars "This is a great book and a great series.

I highly recommend Nebador to any who like real science and good sci fi. The Nebador series by J.Z. Colby is a great read for the entire family. Many topics come up in the series that are trending today as well as topics that are controversial. The author also shows the need for education and a clear head thru out the series, that the characters must need to learn. And as the reader we can also learn some of their lessons in the story, some even with diagrams to help aid in understanding.
-- Carl,

In book 6 Star Station, Our favorite characters finally get to the outpost. Even after speaking and seeing another species on a video monitor. Nothing could really prepare them for the culture shock waiting for them. "Walking in some one elses shoes" is a great saying until they actually have to take it literally.
-- Carl Bennett,

NEBADOR Book Seven: The Local Universe
and the short story Buna's Search by Shadow Buffalo-walker

4/5 stars "The Nebador series never fails to impress

and I think this book, book seven, is my second favourite from the series so far. Colby writes in an enthusiastic, passionate and engaging tone and brings his characters to life with every word.

I am a twenty-something university student and I love reading Colby's novels as they teach me new concepts, theories, ideas and even words!

Congratulations Colby for another fantastic novel. Thank you for bringing your characters to the pages I hold and your ideas to the theories I already possess."
-- Chenice, UK,

5/5 stars "So, now we've been through The Test,

have made the Journey and survived the Selection. We've been succesful in our Flight Training, went Back to the Stars and met the Star Station. It's time to meet the Local Universe!
We have two major plots during this book and they are slightly different from previous ones. Now, we have our crew reasonably integrated with the Nebador lifestyle, but we need them to grow up as beings, to evolve, in a way. One of the "light" beings (evolved beings!) is going to watch and be with our crew, it's been decided, and interestingly, they are being assigned to advanced training before it's usual.

Their first mission takes them to try and locate a ship that has been drifting for several hundred years, there's supposed to be 3 of the ships and the crew's mission is to find it and then "deal" with it, according to what they find. With them, a whole group of "bugs" will be the experts and passengers of the Manessa Kwi, small and regular size, with mates and groups not so much like theirs, they will have to learn to respect and deal with people much different than them, for a long time (unlike the shorter interactions they've had so far) This is a mission that will teach them much, even if Ilika has explained some things before, now they will see in practice and they will be able to deal with life, death, loss, understanding of Bad and Evil. It is different when you feel it, of course. We'll see a lot of growth here, when they realize some things happen for a reason and not everything and everyone is meant to get help.

The second mission is very different from the first, when we follow 4 common children/teens, into this strange school that is different from anything in their world, called Lyceum. It's a school/monastry/religion-with-all-religions/lifestyle that teaches everyone can be responsible, respectful and that everone has gifts that can be used towards the greater good. Not unlike Nebador, it seems, and that's why, from the whole world, this school is the only one that actually meets Nebador people. They aren't informed of how's, where's and what's but they know they are from space and that they are special beings.

Our crew goes through an interesting mission here, they don't know what it is. They are supposed to find out. Also, the crew is without Ilika, which is the first time ever since they got together in their homeworld. Ilika disguises himself as a potential student at Lyceum, while the rest of the crew will show themselves to the staff as the citizens of Nebador they are, so they can work in different ways to try and find out what their mission is and accomplish it.

Obviously, they do. But the interesting isn't only the mission itself, but how they get there. They end up influencing the people outside their small group, learn more things and eventually find their mission where they weren't looking. Manessa Kwi's crew, in a way, is used to saving people or just helping them, in whatever way they see as saving. But sometimes, what a person needs isn't the same thing you believe is help. And that's actually hard to spot, empathy isn't as easy, when the person you are trying to help sees life in a different way than you do.

Again, another masterpiece by J. Z. Colby, showing children and young adults (and some older adults), that it is possible to live a better life, that a better society is possible - if only people would help - and that you should be the first one to do it. J. Z., if only every teen would read your books, I'm sure we would have a better world in a couple generations' time.
-- Mayara Arend, Brazil,,

4/5 stars "The adventures of the Manesa Kwi's crew kinda hit home

some in this the latest of the Nebador series. The crew find them selves on an earth like planet, where they visit Lyceum. A school and a spiritual safe haven. But even Lyceum isnt safe from religious negativity and political assassins.

I personally have been looking for something and i find it here in this story teasing me. lol.
-- Carl Bennett,

5/5 stars "WOW! This series has blown my mind.

I enjoyed every book, I look forward to more great adventures and lessons I wished I learned years ago. Thank you J. Z. Colby. This series is for everyone, something to strive towards. Many praises to Nebador."
-- Mark O'Connor,

3.5/5 stars "Another wonderful addition to the Nebador series.

This book is a bit different from the previous installments. For a lot of the book the crew that we have grown with take a back seat and lie low while investigating their mission. We see things through eyes of new characters, which I found characteristics of myself in each. The previous books were primarily about learning, but the best way to describe this one is emotional growth. I enjoyed the overall story, however feel like it almost felt like a spinoff from the Nebador books, or at least allows for a new direction aside from Nebador. That being said, it still leaves you wanting more and wondering where the crew will be taken next.
-- SBeasley, Arkansas,

5/5 stars "Another excellent adventure from J.Z Colby.

Plenty of life lessons and things to ponder."
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland,

5/5 stars "I thought the last book "Star Station" was my favorite of the series

and although it has wondrous folks of all kinds and descriptions, not to mention be an amazing place to live, work and play....... This book "The Local Universe" brings to light the concepts, passions, and a depth of feelings to explore as you get lost in the story; following along with the beloved characters and some new exciting characters that add more rich flavor, intrigue and mystical qualities to the story and the situations they are looking to investigate and figure the best approach to take as both a small specialized group, as well as an Universal Team.

It takes you on an emotional roller coaster as you agonize with them, over letting what's left of a civilization die from its own ignorance or try to save it and hope that it would learn from its mistakes. How we and others deal with the death of friends and loved ones even if they may be a different species than you. We form attachments and strong bonds with others through life situation, work, play, shared experiences, passions and tastes. We all share interests, even a passion for things that make us think and feel, like music, art, science, physics, physics, astronomy, flying, etc... It colors who we are and what gifts we have to share with others.

We need more places of Learning like "Lyceum" with a better approach to education and higher reasoning skills. There are a few new K-12 Learning Centers coming into being.... showing a more positive approach to a new higher way of thinking about things and the World around us. Where it is ok to ask the important questions, not take things as Rote, face value or what someone else says it is. Where the students interests and skills are taken into considerations and they are encouraged to learn at their own pace; not unlike Flight Instruction where student pilots learn at their own pace: fast, medium or slow -- we all have our own unique way and time of learning things, and it is a wise, patient and adaptable teacher that can help those being mentored to achieve their goals no matter what the pace is. The strength and determination shown by Jenny who while fighting a dread battle with a crushing disease, is a source of great encouragement to see something that you are so inspired and gifted with grow to fruition, something that can take a life of its own moving others in such a way as to want to continue the trend that was started. That it is possible to look back on our life's golden achievements with delight and child like glee, that we have brought happiness to many.

I was dabbing my eyes, laughing and crying with the characters --- this book is Marvelous!!!!! Loved it and you for sharing it with us!!
-- Anne,

5/5 stars "Best Nebador book so far!

Colby laid the groundwork in the first six books. He's now free to explore higher or wider concepts and does so here. Thanks J.Z. for the great conversations my daughter and I have over your books.
-- Gaffer,

"Just finished book 7 epub, paper copy not available at local bookshop yet, but I've pre-ordered it. This is your best work yet! Thanks!!"

-- Matthew Sabin, Idaho,

NEBADOR Book Eight: Witness
and the short story The Magic Needle by Kathleen Tully

5/5 stars "It's hard for me to write a review about this book because

1) I am not a "young adult," and 2) I didn't read the first seven books.

But, I was able to enjoy and understand enough of this book to see that it was well-written and that it contained great insights into people -- no matter what kind of beings those people might be -- such as friendship, camaraderie, empowerment, and the realization of personal and world mortality.
-- Joelle Steele, author, Washington,

4/5 stars "Prior to reading this book ...

I was certain Book 4 was my favourite in the series. I was wrong. Book 8 focuses on many interesting and important themes such as life, death, birth, crime and love.

The relationship between Teina and Jimox teaches us about the importance of communication, not just in a relationship/friendship, but also in life to ensure survival. Their relationship is unique in that they challenge each other to think about the long term VS. the short term.

Three quotes that were particularly evocative for me were:

1. "I didn't realise humans were a race who tended to overestimate their charms," Arantiloria mused p.10

2. "The most horrible part of my life was followed by the most wonderful part," Teina explained p.31

3. "What is it about birth and death [...] that make them so hard to handle?" P.179

A brilliant book that is testament to Colby's literary talents.
-- Chenice, UK,

5/5 stars "We have a saying in Brazil

that goes along the lines of 'The great is an enemy of the good' meaning that if you keep trying to do a great job, sometimes you won't do it at all.

That applies for both this review and this book. I've been meaning to write this book a review that's up to its level of greatness, however by trying that, I failed to write even a good review, so let's try this again.

The Nebador Series is probably one of my favorites lately. I got to book 8 without having one that I don't like just as much as the ones before (As opposed to other series I've read on the same time period which I couldn't like most of them).

On this book, we see our crew and captain going through a major training, where they must learn, exactly, that sometimes things must be sacrificed for something to be achieved at all, that you can't save everyone, all the time, sometimes you just have to do the best possible, sacrifice some and work the best way you can to ensure the best ending for the general group, even if not for the individuals.

After that, they go to meet a Planetary Prince and Princess and learn of the demise of their world. They are Monkey-Mammals and, while they are not what we call humans, they are so human it hurts. Their world is so Earth-like that it hurts. Their culture is so Earth-like that we see our future into their world. And it hurts.

The character development on both the Manessa Kwi crew and the Planetary Prince and Princess is amazing, but mostly on the crew, since we've been following them for some time now, we can see them go from uneducated slaves, with all the bad luck of the world on their side, to a promising educated and still learning deep space response ship, who can make decisions on other people's lives, who think on the deeper meanings of the Universe and still try to do always their best and not be disappointed on the people of the Universe in general, just sad that some individuals are greedy and selfish - nothing they didn't knew and experienced first hand.

Also, Nebador #8 has a short story of a little girl's life and empowerment and that's awesome. I love how in the Nebador universe we see absolutely no difference on the treatment for males and females and, more than that, it is seen as part of a civilization that's stuck in old prejudices and will be prevented to evolve and move on.

J.Z. Colby, as usual, writing a masterpiece for all ages.
-- Mayara Arend, Brazil,,

5/5 stars "I feel in love with the characters

in book one and was sad when I finished book seven but now they were back in my life and learning and growing as well as I am, I look forward to book nine where will you take us next Mr Colby."
-- Mark Allen O'Connor,

5/5 stars "Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to do nothing.

To see and not be able to help ."
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland,,

5/5 stars "... a great 3 napkin, 6 tissue moving story;

of the heartache of loss, a whole world civilization up in flames (which could happen to us if our politicians, and our world population does not change away from the old mind sets that are no longer working for us, realizing that they never have worked, and embrace a spirit of unity, of working together to better each other and our world).

For young children Jimox and Teina the loss of parents, family and friends can be daunting even in the best of times.

It is always good to catch up with our noble Crew of Manessa and see how much they have grown into their new Universal Civilization, and where their special skills are taking them.

Ashley is one of my favorite characters and her ability to take in all her new surroundings, fitting right in, never breaking stride. Her life now enjoys purpose and a sense of fulfillment, along with excitement and enthusiasm for whatever is next; especially with her two companions T'sss'lisss a graceful snakebeing and a beautiful birdbeing Kolarrr'ka. Together this fun trio have a deep, abiding respect and love for each other.

Jimox and Teina are wonderful characters who's deeply moving story of their life and the choices they had to make again and again throughout their fading childhood, teen years moving into promising adulthood with so much potential and enthusiasm to be shared with saving what they could of their crumbling civilization; and the brave energy and adaptability of learning new skills to build something worth sharing on a grand scale with the Universe's Citizens. Even being able to forgive and show a better way to those lost, tormented souls waiting to be able to move on.

"The Magic Needle" by Miss Kathleen Tully was a very touching and moving story of Risan Gor. It was a most enjoyable read, and the kind of completion story I was hoping for. Kudos !!!"
-- Anne,

NEBADOR Book Nine: A Cry for Help

5/5 stars "I have enjoyed all of the Nebador books,

this book opens our eyes to the necessity to change our old thought patterns, behaviors, and ideals that are not working and are threatening to destroy our own world. We all see it in the news, on the internet -- on a global scale. The headlines of war, famine, refugees,forest fires, depletion of our natural resources, ocean dumping grounds destroying sea life, over population; when will we as a united front say in one voice "Enough is Enough!!"

The young heroine Heather, a volunteer Temporandek Teacher sent from the Education Service of Nebador; as a 7 year old girl with a "lifetime knowledge" of an adult of what was about to occur on their planet if a timely change was not implemented soon, as their world stood at the crossroads. Heather's most unlikely he;p actually comes from the military and scientific task group assigned to her.

(I personally we All can make a difference right now in bringing about a better more sustainable and balanced Mother Earth; we as individuals, as communities, as nations, and most importantly as a Global Society.)"
-- Anne,

4/5 stars "Every time I read a book from this amazing series by Colby I feel like it's my favourite.

I feel like I've learned a lot, that I've thought deeper thoughts than the previous year, that I'm changed. This book did not let me down.

A quote that really stuck out for me can be found on page 182 of the paperback [global edition]. Colby writes "I have a purpose, and when you have a purpose, you don't get a life. You don't get all the other things most people think you're entitled to - school, career, marriage, family. If you're lucky, maybe you can grab a little bit along the way, like I do with Brian. But you're always on a sacrificial alter, ready for the ceremonial knife to come down. But running away is for little people. God doesn't choose little people for purposes like this."

I would argue that of all nine books this book boasts the best character development. A great book that I would recommend to all."
-- Chenice, UK,

"I dont know whether to love you or hate you.

Book 9 has all the bad things that I KNOW is coming, and my friends KNOW, but we just don't WANT to know and we just want to hope it will go away.

Curse you! But thanks for making it free."
-- Pamela, 16, Nebador citizen, Wales

NEBADOR Book Ten: Stories from Sonmatia
including the novella Escape from Sonmatia Two by J. Z. Colby
the new short stories:
  Still Voices by Mary Anne Brenner
  Floating Away by Tiffany Pertranovich
  The Lonely Space Dragon by Sammy McNeil
and the previously-published short stories:
  Rini and the Old Slave by Terri Snyder
  Kibi and the Search for Happiness by Katelynn Persons
  First Taste of Freedom by Katelynn Persons
  Buna's New World by Karen Buchanan
  Sata's Strength by Chenice Louise Clarke
  Neti's Temptation by Karen Buchanan
  What're Friends For by Katelynn Persons
  Boro and Sata by Terri Snyder
  Buna's Search by Shadow Buffalo-walker
  The Magic Needle by Kathleen Tully

5/5 stars "This was a great way to close out the Nebador Series;

a collection of stories from JZ Colby and the new upcoming young authors he has mentored along the way. "Still Voices" by [Mary] Anne Brenner was one of my favorite short stories of a small crystal person longing for adventure. "Escape from Sonmatia Two" by JZ Colby was inspiring in the face of danger and dishevel, as some young folks living in a closed oppressive, underground community conspire to leave as a group to find a better life and the trials and tribulations incurred along the journey. and the final story of "The Lonely Space Dragon" by Sammy McNeil was a great short story of friendships forged, besides; who wouldn't want to be friends with a Dragon! I have loved the whole Nebador Series and still like to reread them at least once a year or so."
-- Anne,

Book by Book

the narrow streets of a medieval walled city
Book One:
The Test
Spring 2010




Letter to Readers

Dramatic Audiobook

Audiobook Chapter 1 (6MB)



Deep Learning

Where to Get It

Screenplay 1

a lonely beach along a wild seashore
Book Two:
Summer 2010


Letter to Readers

Dramatic Audiobook

Audiobook Chapter 13 (8MB)



Deep Learning

Where to Get It

Screenplay 1

the colorful aurora above majestic mountains
Book Three:
Fall 2010


Letter to Readers

Dramatic Audiobook

Audiobook Chapter 5 (13MB)



Deep Learning

Where to Get It

Screenplay 1

stranded on a frigid ice continent
Book Four:
Flight Training
Spring 2011


Letter to Readers



Deep Learning

Where to Get It

fascinating planets with strange life forms
Book Five:
Back to the Stars
Fall 2011


Letter to Readers



Deep Learning

Where to Get It

a shining jewel floating in the blackness of space
Book Six:
Star Station
Summer 2012


Letter to Readers



Deep Learning

Where to Get It

unseen guests at an event of universe importance
Book Seven:
The Local Universe
Summer 2013


Letter to Readers



Where to Get It

stillness and silence where movement and sound should be
Book Eight:
Summer 2014


Letter to Readers



Where to Get It

Heather's meeting circle at a top-secret military facility
Book Nine:
A Cry for Help
Summer 2015


Letter to Readers



Where to Get It

a strange eco-system deep underground
Book Ten:
Stories from Sonmatia
Summer 2016


Letter to Readers


Where to Get It

Nebador Archives

Copyright © 2009-2018
by J. Z. Colby
unless otherwise attributed