• May 1, 2024:

    Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall is a BOOK OF THE DECADE in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2013-2023 (U.K.)

May 1, 2024:

EXOSTAR is the GRAND PRIZE WINNER in the 2023 Gertrude Warner Awards for Middle Grade Fiction!

September 1, 2023:

EXOSTAR is a 2023 Readers' Favorite Book Awards SILVER MEDAL WINNER in the Children's Fantasy & Sci-Fi Category.

March 27, 2023:

EXOSTAR reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

"Exostar is the first book in The Lost Space Treasures Series by Rae Knightly. Trinket is a twelve-year-old android living a solitary life on the planet Kepra-2 after the death of the Old Scientist. Apart from her Mass Transfer Device, Empty, Trinket doesn't have anyone she can call a friend and is desperate to leave Kepra-2 before the ruthless Remnants send her to the scrap heap. But first, she must rescue a young boy from an orphanage. However, an unforeseen turn of events puts her at odds with the Remnants' Supreme Leader. After learning that she may hold the secrets to unlocking the Lost Treasure of the Keepers, Trinket inadvertently gets her hands on the most precious object in the known Universe, the Exostar. With the entire Remnant fleet on her trail, will Trinket find her way to freedom?

A swirling mix of suspense, mystery, and action makes Exostar an absolute page-turner of a novel. If you're a fan of sci-fi stories set in space, this one will be right up your alley. Rae Knightly has delivered a gripping first installment to what promises to be an epic space opera saga for kids and young adults alike. Apart from the fast-paced narrative and well-placed twists and turns of the plot, Knightly excels at crafting some compelling characters with whom you can identify. Trinket is someone you want to root for. I especially enjoyed her friendship with Empty as well as her dynamic with Woolver Talandrin. This is a gem of a book for sci-fi lovers."

March 23, 2023:

EXOSTAR reviewed by BookLife

"Knightly weaves a genre blending middle-grade adventure that’s certain to entertain, boasting a planetary scope and a unique protagonist. Courageous 12-year-old Trinket Moonrise isn’t sure if she’s “a robot with life-like traits or a living being with robot parts.” Either way, she finds herself at the center of an epic quest. She’s desperate to escape her planet for a better life, but her compassion and loyalty to a young orphan boy complicates her departure. Unwilling to leave without him, she postpones her plans, comes face-to-face with a devious villain, and must lean on new friends to survive. 

Knightly ensures young readers a thrilling escapade with this delightful protagonist. Trinket is more than a “piece of scrap” as she struggles to find a sense of self in a world without a family to guide her. Her prosthetic leg, affectionately nicknamed “Champion,” is desperately in need of repairs, something that can be fixed on a different planet, but she isn’t about to jump a shuttle and jet away. Her personal challenges carve a deep well of empathy within herself—and in readers—and she harnesses that emotion to save an orphan boy from a life of misery. Escaping to a better world proves challenging when alien oppressors hunt Trinket for mysterious purposes, but her bravery shines bright and exemplifies a deep-seeded courage that readers will find inspiring.

Other unique and eccentric characters bring welcome life to the narrative, such as furry fighter Woolver Talandrin and an alien named “ƪƆƳƥƎƼǤ,” who goes by Tulo for short. Some of the story’s momentum and surprises slows in the book’s middle, but Knightly sprinkles nail-biting action throughout. Many pivotal questions remain intentionally unanswered, enticing young readers to return for future adventures within the series. Middle-grade fans of fantasy and sci fi will delight in this creative and imaginative quest.

Takeaway: Nail-biting action and a courageous robot girl power this middle grade SF thriller.

Great for fans of: Yoon Ha Lee’s Dragon Pearl, M.H. Woodscourt.

Production grades

Cover: A

Design and typography: A

Illustrations: N/A

Editing: A

Marketing copy: A"

March 14, 2023:

EXOSTAR reviewed by KIRKUS 

​"Trinket is a 12-year-old whom locals derogatorily label a “piece of scrap.” Living in the city of Axiopolis on the planet Kepra-2 in the Milky Way, Trinket admits to her personal, built-in computer, Empty, that she “didn’t know whether she was a mortal being with a metal leg or an android with artificial emotions.” Regardless, Trinket is determined to prove herself. Her chance comes when Axiopolis is invaded by the Remnants, cruel warriors led by the ruthless Count Solomon Drakir—a man who fears no one but his boss, the Supreme Leader. The Remnants pillage Trinket’s old house, in which she lived with her creator, the Old Scientist, now deceased. The warriors discover evidence that points to the existence of a “Lost Space Treasure”—and to Trinket as the key to unlocking it. Now, Trinket must avoid capture by the Remnants and battle her way to the treasure first if she is to save the universe. Meanwhile, a war between the Remnants and the Interstellar Alliance looms. During her quest, she meets an unexpected ally in Woolver Talandrin, a wanted terrorist from the farming planet Plethora, who may harbor key secrets. In this series opener, Knightly’s worldbuilding is richly detailed, from its unique languages to its specific cultures like the A’hmuns and Sea Keprans. But while the story also offers gripping action, it is the personal connections that make this novel shine. Trinket’s bond with Empty is both funny and touching, and her growing friendship with Woolver evolves right alongside her confidence in her own abilities. This smoothly written story is ultimately about a spirited hero discovering who she is and what she’s really capable of—with a generous helping of some stellar fight scenes along the way.

Packed with engaging characters and nonstop action, this riveting SF adventure will delight readers."

March, 2023:

The Whale and Conservation (WDC) Book Club interviews Rae Knightly. Watch and listen to the replay on YouTube:


January  17, 2023:

Rae Knightly meets Mayor Brad West to gift the City of Port Coquitlam a copy of the award-winning Ben Archer and the World Beyond.

October 14, 2022

Ben Archer and the World Beyond wins the 2022 Whistler Independent Book Awards - Children's Category.


October 14, 2022:

Ben Archer and the World Beyond is the WINNER of the 2022 Whistler Independent Award - Children's Category.

January 17, 2022:

BEN ARCHER AND THE TOREQ SON reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

"Ben Archer and the Toreq Son by Rae Knightly is the sixth book in The Alien Skill series. Ben Archer has been imprisoned on an alien warship, accused of the theft of an Alien Translation skill, and can only watch as the Earth is blasted with natural disasters by the Toreq. Floods, droughts, and hurricanes wreak havoc and Ben has no idea how he is going to save the planet. Mesmo, an alien friend of Ben, is the only one who could persuade the Toreq to stop but he has disappeared. Where is he? Ben needs to get out of prison, persuade the Toreq that the translation skill was given to him by Mesmo’s daughter, and save the planet from destruction. He’s just 13 years old – can he do it? Can he stop the Alien General from carrying out his evil plans? This is Ben’s toughest adventure yet and he must win otherwise the world is doomed.

Ben Archer and Toreq Son by Rae Knightly is part of a series and I would strongly recommend reading the entire series in order to fully understand the characters and the references to previous events. However, I read it as a standalone and was more than satisfied that I could grasp the whole story. More than a teenage sci-fi story, this is about overcoming obstacles in life, learning to communicate, and taking responsibility for our actions, all wrapped up in a neat story with plenty of action and no small amount of twists and turns. The story grabs you right from the start and takes you on a rollercoaster journey with some pretty cool characters. It is an engaging, exciting, and fun story with a good ending and if you enjoy this, I encourage you to read the series in order."

November 19, 2021:

THE KNOWLEDGE SEEKER reviewed by Francis Mont for Readers' Favorite

"The Knowledge Seeker: A YA Dystopian Novel by Rae Knightly is an epic adventure tale in a dystopian setting, 600 years in the future. Past civilizations of the ‘Enlightened People’ have disappeared in a total collapse caused by climate change and all-out wars. What remains are two feudalistic city-states engaged in a deadly struggle over the remnants of knowledge collected by one of them in their library of ancient printed books squirreled away from the ruins of past cities. All this knowledge, condensed in an ancient memory device, is entrusted to 16-year-old Eodain (nickname ‘Termite’) by the Grand Protector, so he can spread this knowledge to the whole world where it belongs. The story follows young Termite and a few of his helpers through hair-raising adventures, trials, and tribulations that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. The narrative is from the first-person point of view, in the present tense, by the young Knowledge-Seeker and the language is expertly tailored to the target audience.

In our current age of almost anti-science, denial, and misinformation, this is an extremely important book for young readers to learn and appreciate knowledge in all its forms. What I found delightfully unexpected was the use of leftover electronic technology, powered by still functioning solar panels from the Enlightened Era. This provides an intriguing contrast with the sword-wielding, horseback riding characters of the medieval setting. The characters are the usual antagonists representing good and evil in a classic struggle for all-out victory. The hair-raising adventures of young Termite are coupled with convincing inner monologues of the protagonist, projecting the conflicting emotions of the young crusader as he follows his sacred quest. I found the ending shockingly unexpected; it would leave any young reader gasping with a realization that they didn’t see it coming. I recommend The Knowledge Seeker by Rae Knightly to young adults who need all the encouragement to seek knowledge and humanistic values."

July 6, 2020:

BEN ARCHER AND THE COSMIC FALL reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

"Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall by Rae Knightly is the first book in The Alien Skill series. Nothing in Ben Archer's life is the same after the Cosmic Fall that occurred in the field next to his grandpa's house. He spent three weeks in bed with a fever before he was recovered enough to return to school, but his friends had already settled into their own groups and routine at school, making Ben feel like an outsider. His grandpa's been missing since that night and Ben is plagued by nightmares with no real memory of what happened. When his grandpa resurfaces after suffering a heart attack, Ben and his mother visit him at the hospital, only for him to give Ben a distressing message: to find Mesmo. Mesmo is the only survivor of the crash and the only one that can answer Ben's questions about what really happened that night. Meanwhile, the government discovers Ben's connection to the mysterious crash and is determined to uncover the truth about the UFO found in the field. Ben and his mother are forced to go on the run and turn to one of his grandpa's allies for help.

This is a delightful adventure that makes for the perfect introduction into science fiction for children of all ages. The story has a tone reminiscent of the Witch Mountain movies with the plot centered on aliens and the government after them with a child in the cross-hairs. The story blends mystery and suspense throughout as the plot builds toward Ben and his mom on the race of a lifetime as they flee from government agents. Rae Knightly delivers an exciting plot that finds conspiracy and action blended into a fast-paced adventure. The trauma and side effects that Ben goes through as a result of the crash are handled with care through his apprehension and anxiety. His stress following the UFO crash is blended with becoming an outsider at school and facing bullies, woven into his journey to find his footing and rediscover his place.

Knightly introduces an assortment of intriguing characters that Ben and his mom encounter from the government agents to the alien Mesmo who is still trying to understand human ways. The relationship between Ben and his mom is at the center of the story as they work to protect each other in an action-packed journey. This relationship is the driving force for the action and how they manage to stay a step ahead throughout the story. Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall is an exciting science fiction adventure that has aliens, action, and suspense, creating a fast-paced plot in an addictive read."

October 2020

Rae's books are featured in StoryMonsters Ink.

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