Nebador Archives presents an epic young-adult science fiction adventure - Reviews/Articles

J. Z. Colby's NEBADOR takes place in the wide universe around us ...
Home Page
Super Menu
Book Previews
Letters to Readers
Where to Get It
Free Books

The Book
Youth Futures
Future Timeline

Queen Mary

The Characters
The Author
The Cover Artists
Author's Helpers
Lumiere Players
Nebador Citizens
Gifted Youth
Reader Art
Casey Park

Nebador & You
Young Adult?
Deep Learning
Thinking 101
Mensa AG 2011
Writer's Cave
The Blue Lamp

Media Kit (PDF)
Ads & Posters
Reviewer Copies
Subsidiary Rights
Nebador Archives

Ask Kibi
Contest Winners
Review Club
Fine Art Prints
Prize Codes

Kibi and the Search for Happiness
Rini and the Old Slave
Buna's New World
First Taste of Freedom
Neti's Temptation
What're Friends For?
Sata's Strength
Boro and Sata
Buna's Search
The Magic Needle
Still Voices
Floating Away
The Lonely Space Dragon

NEBADOR on GoodReads


The Ghost Host

NOAA Space Weather Scales (PDF)

The Donkey Sanctuary, Ireland

MENSA International


As the home team, Nature Bats Last.

Outward Bound International

National Outdoor Leadership School

Post Carbon Institute's

Kurt Cobb's Resource Insights

Kids vs. Global Warming

Transition Network

National Youth Rights Association

Hesperian Health Guides presents Speaking Truth to Power

Professional Book Reviews, Articles, Videos, Interviews, Talks, Workshops, etc.

If you know of any that are not yet listed, please contact the author. The only ones excluded are those with strong evidence that the reviewer did not read the book.

For brief comments by general readers, please see the Comments page.

December 2015

Mayara Arend
professional translator and marketer in Brazil, reviewing
NEBADOR Book Nine: A Cry for Help

5/5 stars

As usual, J.Z. Colby delivers a wonderful book. A masterpiece, I would say.

Through the years, I've become involved with Nebador. With the books, the characters, the author and, more specifically, the cause. There is a cause, of course, anyone reading it should see that.

Nebador is about a little group of former slaves, from the gutter, from slavery, to the stars, to being the crew of a deep space response ship called Manessa Kwi and just being wonderful.

On this book, we don't see much of our little crew, because their story and their growth was almost over (not that any growth is completely over at any time, but they were mature enough and wise enough to hold their ground and be as grown up as they could be, they were Nebador citizens), but we see this little world, Ko-Tera Three, which is so much like our own, going through a crisis we should be going through - but we're not and that's terrifying.

I'll try not to spoil the book here, please, forgive me if I let out some minor details. Ko-Tera Three received a wise person to help them through a major break in their history - something every sapient race goes through, the moment when they get so much power, technology and pollution that they have to make it or break it, meaning, they either solve their problems or kill themselves and the planet along them.

Of course we have the powers of Nebador giving them a hand, in a way, but they must solve it by themselves.

As J.Z. mentions, the future of Ko-Tera hasn't been revealed to him. But I've been well touched by this story. It made me question what I am doing with my life, and if I am still young enough to understand and to actually be and do something for the world.

I know this review may sound more about world and life and being something and doing something... Thing us bookworms aren't used to. But this is why you should read this book. And everyone should read this book.

Make no mistake. Things will change. The universe will go on. You can either change and go with it. Or you can perish. Nature is merciless. Because nature is simply nature, cause and consequence.

August 2015
A family bonding experience: Matthew and family, Idaho

I'm on my second kid... Years ago I saw your book (series) advertised in the UU World magazine. It took me months to get around to pestering my local book-seller into ordering book one. I read it out loud to my daughter (Beryl) at 12 and we were hooked. We've re-read the series just prior to each book's anticipated release. In the run up to book 9, Beryl was preparing to head off 2-years early to college, and we were squeezing in every minute of reading in -- we decided to read the series to each other -- so frequently my nine-year old son (Logan) eavesdropped on bits of the books.

Nine came out, we've read it, I've ordered it in paper to complete the set, We've both read it, but haven't managed to read it out loud to each other yet as she's off to college now.

Logan asked me right after I got back from delivering Beryl to her school in Massachusetts (we live in Idaho) to read the stories to him. I tried to explain that he wasn't old enough yet, but gave up. On reading through the test questions [in Book One], Logan would sit bolt-upright in bed (so much for going to sleep) and make sure he understood each question and had the answer before I moved on. He's still glowing with pride -- knowing that he's passed all of Ilika's questions.

We're in the middle of book two. Just got past the cliffs at high tide and are looking for a high and dry camp site.

Thank you so very much for the astounding bonding experience I'm getting with both children. The conversations I've had with Beryl and the ones I'm having right now with Logan are deeper than I usually get with anyone else, and I think more important.

February 2015

Mayara Arend
professional translator and marketer in Brazil, reviewing
NEBADOR Book Eight: Witness

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.

September 2014

Personal Power Walk with author J. Z. Colby
a workshop at the Northwest Fall Equinox Festival, Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Especially for our young adults (responsible 7-ish and up), but grown-ups are welcome to tag along. We'll meet in front of the Arts & Crafts building and review the idea of Personal Power (all those resources and abilities we have when we're alone for any reason). Then we'll walk into the woods and practice the basics of observation, orienteering (wayfinding), awareness of dangers, and identification of wild foods. When we return to the building, we'll chat about our experiences and make sure everyone has some NEBADOR books. Info about the author and the NEBADOR series at

    Audio: MP3 - 32:05 - 32Kbps - 7.7MB

Spelling it out For Your Man: Insider Secrets to Sex, Love and Attraction for Men and Women January 2014

Spelling it out For Your Man: Insider Secrets to Sex, Love and Attraction for Men and Women
by Julieanne O'Connor
Martin Sisters Publishing

Recently published, this is the first book to quote the NEBADOR series, specifically the most important line of the entire series:

"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."

And the showcase quote in this book is equally powerful in its own way:

"It's impossible," said pride.
"It's risky," said experience.
"It's pointless," said reason.
"Give it a try," whispered the heart.
-- unknown

Sophia Temperilli December 2013

Sophia Francesca Temperilli, 14, The Ghost Host on

I don't want to give away any of the plot surprises that J.Z. Colby produced during the course of the Nebador series. Yet, I will say that Colby has a unique way of involving the reader 'interactively' with the main characters during key decision making points throughout the works. As a fellow young reader, I found the Nebador series quite refreshing and entertaining in the way that J.Z. Colby keeps the characters moving forward and engaging.

Shirley Temperilli

Shirley Temperilli, creative media consultant

Though no longer personally classified as a 'young reader', I really enjoyed the Nebador series by J.Z. Colby for my daughter. As Sophia's mother, I always like to know what literature she is reading; and further, what educational elements are introduced though the various works she chooses. I was instantly delighted by book one, continuing through each volume of the series, and would highly recommend J.Z. Colby's work for any parent that is seeking a quality, educational, refreshing and thoroughly entertaining young adult sci-fi book saga.

Shirley Temperilli

Gian Temperilli, co-author, Heaven Can You Hear Me? by Peter James

My wife and daughter are in accord regarding the superb authorship of Colby's work. It is evident that Colby's career passion for his personal work with families reflects in detail within each character portrayal throughout each book in the Nebador series. Further, J.Z. Colby has been a great supporter and fantastic recurring guest on my daughter's "Ghost Host" Saturday broadcasts:)

December 2013

Mayara Arend
professional translator and marketer in Brazil, reviewing NEBADOR Book Seven: The Local Universe

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.

    Link to the full review at Brazilian Bookworm

September 2013

Chatting with author J. Z. Colby
a workshop at the Northwest Fall Equinox Festival, Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Especially for young people, but anyone is welcome. We'll chat about personal power, the main theme of the NEBADOR series, and the suthor will give away free books. More info at

    Audio: MP3 - 24:34 - 32Kbps - 6MB

May 2013

Serendipity Playhouse
500 Washington Street, Vancouver, Washington

Readings from NEBADOR Books One - Six by J. Z. Colby
at the First Annual Celebration, 17 May 2013

    Audio MP3 - 15:30 - 32Kbps - 4MB

January 2013

Mayara Arend
professional translator and marketer in Brazil, reviewing NEBADOR Book Six: Star Station

5/5 stars

The Nebador Series by J. Z. Colby is probably one of my favorites, now. Right along Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Mists of Avalon, the Graal Trilogy, The Vampire Chronicles and some others, there sit the 6 books of the Nebador Series.
4 former slaves and one inkeeper's daughter form this crew that has travelled further away from their home world than anyone there will probably go and are now bonded beyond anything they thought they would, specially the slaves, who've always had a deep issue with trust, trusting people isn't something a slave does, as they are on the world on their own, being traded around and bossed around.

Mati, with her bad knee, is on the edge of a new life. It's hard and it's new. It's more of a change than traveling all across the universe, to her, since it's her body, it's something she always lived with, and it's going to change everything she does and is. Not who she is, but the way her being interacts with the world.

Kibi has to learn to interact with the rest of the universe. Understand what is appropriate and when, but also, be confident that she has value and that there is a job for her and her feelings, which are as valuable as other skills. I think Kibi is the character that bothered me the most all through the books, because she doesn't SEEM valuable, her skills don't seem important, like the others. She has no definite skill, math, language, anything, and yet, she is Ilika's girl and that gives you the feeling that she was on the crew from the start. But, the thing is, she has the strongest intuition and she can sense people's feelings, she can understand people and relate to them. I couldn't really see that on the first books, probably because I am one of those people that can "feel people" but can't understand how those feelings can be a skill. Much like Kibi :)
Mati and Sata have a big lesson to learn, and so do Boro and Rini, who are in different stages of a relationship with the girls. After they make a huge and very serious mistake that has terrible consequences, they are "sentenced" to go through the "Great Transformation" and help a whole civilization to survive, a lot over their shoulders, by living and learning. But I won't spoil, since that is one of the parts to love ;)

Kibi's test of the heart, as mentioned on the summary, is one I would probably fail myself. Damn licking on the neck. J.Z., Nebador's author, writes with such emotion and so many details that I get shivers to this day. After that, she puts her feet on a path she must take, specially to be in the Nebador Transport Service, along with her friends and her lover, but that is hard and complicated, making her face several fears and issues.

I love Nebador and I would read 100 books on this series. But we have definitely reached a stopping point, if needed. No other book before this has left me with such an accomplishment feeling, you can see there may be more coming, but you can also stop here and know that the story has been told, of the path a small team of young adults took from the lowest of the low to the stars, from poverty to respected equals to the whole universe. There is more to learn, but now they are well on their way.

I reccomend the whole Nebador series to anyone who likes reading, learning and loves to read good writing, great character development and awesome plot.

    Link to the full review at Brazilian Bookworm

December 2012

First Friday Art Walk and Book Signing, Newberg, Oregon

The author talked to lots of wonderful people and signed books after dining with Kearsten Hill (the voice of Neti in the audiobooks) and her partner Marco, both of whom helped with set-up and clean-up. Pictures will be posted as soon as they emerge from their camera.

Marco and Kearsten (audiobook voice actor)

November 2012

Becky Rivera, mother of four, wife, daughter, sister, best friend, home educator, and child of God

The book Nebador is a science fiction adventure book that is geared toward young adults. The author, JZ Colby, has even pre-faced this book by writing to young readers the importance of thinking on your own and how young people today can be the heroes of the future. Being a science fiction novel, the setting is far off in the future but the people have regressed to the era of castles and cottages. The main character is a stranger to the land, so the reader also gets to experience the customs and people of this medieval kingdom as a visitor.

In learning about this city and the culture, you can see how different classes of people treat others and how these classes already categorize a visitor based upon first impressions. The various characters throughout the story, from slave to king, show how their position in society usually predetermines their mannerisms. This book shows the main character and other individuals who do not stay within the society's placement.

The chapters are only a few pages in length which made it easy to stay involved in the storyline. This also helped in reading the book because you would go on to read the next chapter since it was only going to be a couple of pages in length. The accompanied book [the Deep Learning Notes, available as a separate book and on the web site] for notes, questions, and illustrations was helpful in explaining the chapters and characters.

On a negative note, I must add that this book does have language and some questionable topics; so I most definitely do not recommend it for children or junior high ages. I caution parents to read this book first before you allow your teenager to read it.

    Link to the review on Books Tell Stories Reviews

    A question and answer about this review is on the Questions page.

Sophia Temperilli, The Ghost Host November 2012

Sophia Temperilli
age 13, interviews J. Z. Colby on her internet radio show The Ghost Host.

Topics include the NEBADOR series, which Sophia is currently reading, and several interesting ethical and religious concepts, with an excellent example given by a caller duing the show.

    Audio MP3 - 37:40 - 32Kbps - 9MB

Post Carbon Institute's October 2012

Post Carbon Institute's
has accepted the author's free book Standing on Your Own Two Feet as a Resource in the category Food & Water.

Shirley Temperilli, creative media director Sophia Temperilli, paranormal radio host October 2012

Shirley Temperilli
creative media director in Long Beach, California, and daughter
Sophia Temperilli
paranormal radio host, compare reading experiences with NEBADOR Trilogy One. Sophia was recently interviewed in the Long Beach Grunion Gazette.

Book One
    Shirley: What I enjoyed about book one, "The Test," is Ilika's new journey into the medieval town. Ilika helped so many poor people while searching for a crew for his ship. In giving to the order of the Monks turned out to be the last place for his crew to go into hiding; which made Ilika's goals more difficult at that time. Ultimately, the details of the escape will really keep you reading.

    Sophia: In book #1, I really liked the character of Sata the innkeeper's daughter. You will find, like me, that she is a really hard worker and smart; which ultimately, is why I was glad when she passed the crew test. Mati is one of my favorite characters in the book too. Ilika wears something magical that I would love to have as well:) This one item helps out in a pinch in the medieval wall;) I learned so much in just this book alone with the many lessons.

Book Two
    Shirley: In the 2nd book, "The Journey," I was surprised at how so many people knew that Ilika and his crew were wanted for their arrest, but still managed to help them out. I felt like I was traveling with them as they learned of the different geography, and how much of it turned into a lesson that would help them in so many ways. That aspect was fun to explore and attempt to work through as a reader. Without revealing too much of anything, I'm glad to know things turn out good for Mati along the way.

    Sophia: I was glad at one point in book #2 when the crew found the wonderful shack. You'll get a kick out of how Mata had to get used to her donkey, Tera. It's great to find out how the crew got along when traveling through the desert, forest and along the ocean. I became worried when Miko hurt his hand that he might not make the team at one point. There is a character named "Kit" that a baker helps out; and it's a touching story to look forward to:)

Book Three
    Shirley: In book #3, "The Selection," I was glad when the group found food and help at the monastery. I admired the women of the location for how spiritual they were. This is a great lesson within the book's content that people can be of use to others in need. Sending the young girl from the cattle town to find a safe place at the monastery turned out to be a great way to help her. I found it interesting to see how Ilika decided to go into the town to find Kibi and Neti without money; and what happened to him as a result. A great lesson is learned by the crew as they help Ilika during this time. We learn quickly why the crew that Ilika chose, was the right choice in his life.

    Sophia: I was worried in book #3 when it looked like the kids were not going to be able to find food. All is fine when they choose the right path to a great location. When the crew was finally chosen, they get to keep a special item along the way. I was glad to learn that too. We learn a great deal more about what the crew will be traveling on in this edition. There is much more to worry about for the crew in this book as well. I look forward to book #4 when all take course on their new journey...

September 2012

Young Adults, Pagans, and the Future
a workshop by J. Z. Colby at the Northwest Fall Equinox Festival, Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

This workshop is an extension of what I write and speak about all the time. I am a retired mental-health therapist, and now an advocate for young adults (roughly ages 10-20, sometimes 7-30) as they deal with the stuff that's coming at them out of the future.

The changes on the horizon are huge, and include environmental, political, and economic forces that are approaching just slowly enough so that adults are reluctant to do anything about them. However, the timing of these changes will most likely hit today's youth very hard in the coming years.

I am not the source of this stuff, but it is usually given in thick adult technical/political language, and so is inaccessible to young people. I am their interpreter.

Even though young adults are right in the "cross hairs" of these world changes, they also have some important things going for them, such as their abilities to think fresh thoughts, and their lack of loyalty to ideas that most adults cherish (like "economic growth").

In addition, anyone who has a toe (or more) in Earth-based religions will have a huge advantage in coming years. In my opinion, young adults WITH an Earth-based background are in the very best position to thrive and be happy.

This workshop will last about 2 hours, and will be a mixture of story readings, discussion times, and situation brain-storming with priority given to young people. Please bring pillows and other comforts. Free books, both fiction and non-fiction, for interested youth at the end.

Correction: When I said "we're about two-thirds of the way down" in reference to USA oil production relative to the 1971 peak, I should have said "we're at about the two-thirds point" or "about one-third of the way down."

    Discussion audio: MP3 - 50:16 - 32Kbps - 12MB

Sophia Temperilli, The Ghost Host June 2012

Sophia Temperilli
age 13, interviews J. Z. Colby on her internet radio show The Ghost Host.

Topics include the RMS Queen Mary and its ghosts, Peter James the psychic investigator, and the NEBADOR series, which Sophia is currently reading.

    Audio MP3 - 52:30 - 32Kbps - 12MB

April 2012

Carl Bennett
reviewing NEBADOR Books One through Four

Review on the story of "NEBADOR" BY J. Z. Colby. He lives in Washington here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

    YouTube: -01Zx472gCo

September 2011, March 2012, May 2012

Mayara Arend
professional translator and marketer in Brazil, reviewing NEBADOR Books Two, Three, Four, and Five

5/5 stars

After your read Nebador Book One: The Test, you are left with a sense that it may be grand, but you're not quite sure. ... Everything changes on The Journey. Suddenly, we understand them. We follow them around their country, their realm, and see them interacting with the several experiences in life – from different people to different ideas, from customs to dangers, from trusting people unconditionally to weighing your options.
I thought the book was great, it was exciting and everything could happen – because they were free. They were off to an exciting and dangerous world and they were friends. Even if they had their diferences, if they had any issues, they'd work it out or work around them. Some of them weren't fit for ship crew, but that doesn't mean they aren't spectacular human beings.

I just now, looking for links and images for this post, found the "Deep Learning Notes". I love them. They make me think but don't give answers and they would've been very interesting to read while I read the book (at each chapter, for example). If you are interested in learning (and, if you liked the Nebador Series I am sure you do), I strongly advise you to use them.

    Link to the full review of Book Two

I loved watching them learning to be good to the world - and when they could or couldn't help, as humans. I loved watching them lean to deal with the ship - that was pretty cool - and how to deal with societies and what they could or couldn't do as crew members.

And then I felt the book was just too short. It wasn't, really, short. I just wanted to read more, I wanted to follow them and see more of them. ...

I'm very curious to see the rest of the series - I heard there will be over 10 books, and I believe it, there is so much to tell, so much to explore! The universe and beyond!

    Link to the full review of Book Three

With this Flight Training, we get to see our crew in action, solving puzzles and knowing more about their home world. Aside from that, we get a pretty big scare in one part, but they work it out.

As Ilika is, we are proud of our little crew members. We are happy to see how much they learnt and grew and we are sure Ilika did the right choice, they were the best he could've found.
I loved the book, as I loved most of the series (Book one had major potential but I had a hard time loving it, which is why I'm thinking of re-reading it), I thought that after they had learnt all those things and knew of the real shape, form and nature of Manessa and Ilika, there wasn't much more to learn and not much would happen - I was afraid the book could be a bit boring, since the characters were all pretty much developed.

Boy was I wrong.

    Link to the full review of Book Four

There is no way out. Now, they're part of the Manessa crew, they're out in space and they just won't be able to run away anymore.

This is the fifth book of the Nebador Series, called "Back to the Stars", it shows how 4 former slaves and one innkeeper's daughter end up flying an intergalactic ship. This specific book shows our lovely ones flying away from their planet and into the stars, into experiences that they can't even imagine. ...

We watch our crew get too close to the Sun, explore new worlds, solve puzzles - oh I love a good puzzle! - and meeting new people! They stumble into another ship and it's crew, but they have this interesting feature: they are birds! ...

Also, they get, accidentally, into a desperate situation and neither Ilika, with all his experience, nor Manessa can help them out. They are trapped and they must ready themselves to die. ...

The crew gets to meet one of the big people from Nebador, the "golden light" that's helped them before, on the fires of Lumber Town and that made the lights dance during Miko's funeral. The power that had to make sure they were ready. That was probably the best part of the book to me, she was beautiful and the whole part was very interesting, with love and devotion, acceptance and guidance.

    Link to the full review of Book Five March 2012

Transition Network
has accepted the author's free book Standing on Your Own Two Feet as a Resource.

July 2011

Author features local artists' work
by Andrew Birden, Fiddlehead Focus, Fort Kent, Maine

artists in Fort Kent, Maine

PICTURES ARE WORTH WORDS - Nancy Fournier (right) and Mariah Babin (left) show off their artwork. Author J.Z. Colby is featuring their work, along with the art of Kendra Theriault and Elizabeth Green on the author's website. Babin took a first place and Theriault took second place.
Photograph by Andrew Birden, Fiddlehead Focus

FORT KENT - An author of a science fiction trilogy is featuring the artwork of local high school students ...

    Link to the full newspaper article at Fiddlehead Focus

July 2011

The Future of Young-Adulthood -- Childhood's End?
a talk by J. Z. Colby at the MENSA Annual Gathering 2011, Hilton Hotel, Portland, Oregon, USA

An extended childhood was one of the perks of a century of wealth from cheap energy and the technology to use it. That era may well be winding down. If so, today's young adults -- roughly, those between the ages of 10 and 20 -- will be facing a tough transition just as their parents are struggling in other areas. The NEBADOR series of young-adult science fiction novels was inspired by Muses who obviously believe that young people need to begin sharpening their wits and honing their skills now, before the future forces them to do so.

    Audio: MP3 - 1:00:00 - 32Kbps - 14MB

June 2011

Theresa K. Stowell
independent reviewer for (no longer online)

Age Recommendation: Grades 9+
Rating: 5 Stars

Science fiction fans of all ages will enjoy THE TEST, the first in a six-book series, NEBADOR, by J.Z. Colby.

In this book, readers are introduced to Ilika, a young man who has trained for almost half of his life to take a test that will allow him to advance in his chosen career. The first part of his test requires him to choose five companions, and he must seek them in a place unlike anywhere he has been before.

He encounters prejudice, fear, poverty, and friendship in his quest and must learn to accept, overcome, and learn through his experiences. He will teach his companions to challenge the world they know and open themselves to new worlds beyond their imaginations.

Ilika's test challenges the ways that both the characters and readers consider moral, social, and psychological issues. Colby skillfully combines story with critical thinking puzzles and deeper questions about not only Ilika's fictional world but the real world that surrounds his readers.

In a supplement to the novels, Colby has also created a volume of "Deep Learning Notes" to go along with the books. The set would be a useful addition to any advanced middle school or high school classroom's science fiction unit.

April 2011

Brigitte Morse
9-12 Resource Room Teacher
Community High School, Fort Kent, Maine

J.Z. Colby's Nebador: Book 1 -- The Test is a teen science fiction novel that appeals to students from all walks of life by including teens with varied backgrounds as the main characters of the story.

When my students saw the book on my desk that first day, they were all picking it up, asking if we were going to be able to read it next and what was it about! How exciting to see teens getting excited about a book! Because it was also available as a Kindle book, I was able to help my students purchase it in that manner and expose them to a whole new way of reading! And the audio book version totally enhances the reading experience!

Reading the book myself, I enjoyed watching the students, though of different intelligences and strengths, bond together, using their strengths and supporting each other during times of weakness or struggle, working as one unit, one team. This is a concept that we try to constantly reinforce in our classroom. What I enjoyed the most, as a teacher looking to share this book with my students, was the authors descriptions of how Ilika taught his students math and reading! These are many of the same techniques that we use with the students in our classroom, making the book more real for my students because of what and how it is being taught.

This is the kind of book that when you get to the end, you can't wait to pick up the next volume to find out what happens next! Bravo!

May 2011: How exciting it is to see the kids eat up the book and want to learn more everyday! I have a student who has almost finished the first book on her own and has requested the second book. It has really lit a fire under my students, having some of them now putting money away to buy more books!

July 2011: Thank you for writing books that interested my students enough so they wanted to read the next book in the series! It is great to see them enjoy reading something and WANTING to read more on their own! I don't typically see that in special education -- particularly at the high school level!

October 2010

Debbie Smith
middle school teacher
4/5 stars

... I am constantly reading books (an average of 2 to 3 books a week) aimed at the Young Adult market. I am especially focused on finding books for reluctant readers. When I recieved the news that I was awarded one of the available copies of "The Test" by J.Z. Colby through GoodReads, I was psyched because I hoped that my first impressions would be validated as I read it. Good Science Fiction that is also acceptable to put on my shelves at school is kind of hard to come by so I really hoped that this book would fit the parameters. I felt the book started well and hooked the reader quickly with the air of mystery that surrounds Ilika, the central character. As the story unfolded and he began learning about the society he was interacting with and then started to choose his students I was sold. This book combined so many wonderful elements that reluctant readers like such as action, adventure, a little mystery and likeable but sometimes troubled characters their own age. I also appreciated the educational tidbits that were entwined in the story and the life lessons that were taught subltly throughout the novel. After finishing this book I found I would really like to read the next books in the series to find out what happens to these characters. I would recommend this book to most young adult AND adult readers, even if they think they don't like science fiction, because after reading "The Test" they just might change their minds.

    Link to the review on

September 2010

independent reviewer for

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9
Flamingnet TOP CHOICE

The Test is a series of adventures that change the lives of ten young adults. These people have to learn to trust in an untrustworthy and unpromising world. Through many changes and narrow escapes from the undermining officials to the king, these young students and there bright-minded teacher make it out alive. But will that great luck continue? Or will the law-breaking, no good, selfish, so called Religious Orders get there way. Placed in the middle of a strange town, with even stranger people, this book is sure to keep you busy reading.

I liked the Test for many good reasons, some of witch I will share and others you will have to read the book to find out. I think the Test is good for the ages 12- 15. I for one liked the maps provided throughout the book. It gave me a better idea of where they lived and what it was like there. The author painted good pictures with his words. Throughout all the adventures I could clearly see (if that is the right word) the place they where in. To find out all the rest of why I liked it, well, just read the book.

    Link to the review on

August 2010

Samantha Spaulding
independent reviewer for

Rating: Must Read!

... In "NEBADOR Book One: The Test", author J.Z. Colby takes us on a journey with Ilika Imni Zalara Sim through the streets of Nebador. Ilika, a young ship's captain, is looking for a crew of five able-bodied persons (men and women alike) to travel farther than they could have ever dreamed. Danger is imminent, and this fact is laid out on the table without any sugar-coating. Most of the book is focused on finding the recruits, which proves to be a difficult task in a town where intellect is discouraged. The phrase "Red sky in morning, sailors warning" is a perfect way to describe the ending, which leaves you with an overwhelming feeling of impending peril.

The visual details give you a perfect image allowing you to play the scenes out in your head until the very end. The author is a master of subtlety, revealing just enough information to leave an "Aha!" exclamation at the tip of your tongue. If I am fortunate enough to review the next book in this series, I have a feeling that I will either be "woohooing" all of my correct observations, or enjoying another slice of pie due to my poor attempt at reading between the lines. Either way, I am thoroughly looking forward to it.

    Link to the full review on

August 2010

Beth Adams
independent reviewer for Pacific Book Review

What fun! Reading J. Z. Colby's book, Nebador: Book One: The Test, is as cute as seeing a youngster wearing a Spock outfit at a Star Trek convention. How do people become sci-fi enthusiasts? They start young, and this book is the ideal fertilizer for their young, developing minds.

J. Z. Colby no doubt has a grand plan for developing this as a series, as Nebador: Book One: The Test is the first of many books planned to carry the story forward. The story revolves around a visitor to a kingdom that becomes threatened by a high-priest and forced into exile with 5 student followers. The survival of the group depends on their ability to gain personal power, to stand on their own two feet, with a smile on their face, in the middle of a universe that contains a million ways to crush you - a slogan of the Nebador Transport Service.
. . .
This book, along with the series when released, would be a thoughtful gift for a youngster with a propensity to read and has an open mind for the fantasy of science fiction and adventure. The book is also a wonderful addition to any home library, or to give to a child embarking on a trip or to camp. As the series will become available over the next year or two, we hope the reading level of the other books parallel the development of those fans that begin with Nebador: Book one: The Test.

    Full review in PDF

    Link to the full review on

June 2010

Ben Weldon
independent reviewer for

"Nebador Book One: The Test" by J. Z. Colby is the story of a young man named Ilika who must find a crew for a mysterious ship that doesn't float on water. Coming from a more advanced civilization and arriving in a bustling city during the Middle Ages, he is astonished by some of the horrible acts of cruelty by slave owners. After a thorough search of all the religious orders and colleges, he tries the slave market. He finds several brilliant kids that were forced into slavery for one reason or another. However, the religious orders grow suspicious of Ilika and his pending crew. Can Ilika gather his crew and escape the city before it is too late and they are all forced into slavery?
. . .
I would recommend this book to people who like action, adventure, and science fiction. This book would probably be most appreciated by kids eleven and up. It is the first book in a series of six. "Nebador Book One: The Test" was a good book and I can't wait to read the next one.

    Full review in PDF

    Link to the full review on

April 2010

Sidney Oster
(the voice of Sata in the audiobook), age 10, interviews J. Z. Colby

    Audio MP3 - 2:10 - 64Kbps - 1MB

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