Emma Murphy and the Ultimate Power
Independently Published (2022)
Reviewed by Stephanie Elizabeth Long for Reader Views (09/22)
Explosions and gadgets galore! “Emma Murphy and the Ultimate Power” by Sarah Lloyd is a treat for science-fiction enthusiasts of all ages.
A startling revelation leaves young Emma Murphy reeling. In a strange string of events, she has been informed that she is part alien—an alien queen, to be exact—with powerful abilities, but she and her family are in danger. Emma’s identity and everything she’s ever believed have been a lie. She barely has enough time to wrap her head around things before she is entangled in a hide and conceal situation.
Through a portal, they are transported to an island where they are (mostly) safe among other part-aliens on the run. However, the Draviukian government still has its ways of learning their whereabouts. She must learn to harness her power if she wants to keep herself and her family protected. Will her life as an earthling be over forever?”
“Emma Murphy and the Ultimate Power” is an engaging sci-fi book for upper middle grade and young adults. With flawless world-building by the author, readers will easily be transported onto the island—a place of portals, larger-than-life creatures, and extraterrestrial activity. Told from the third-person perspective, the introverted-human-turned-alien-heir Emma shows us what it’s like to be thrust into the unknown and question everything she ever thought true.
What I loved most about the book was the main character, Emma. With great power comes great responsibility, and she took that philosophy to heart throughout her adventures. Being jolted into this new reality as an heir with abilities and immense strength could be a recipe for arrogance and entitlement for many. Still, Emma’s reluctance to fully embrace her powers out of fear that she could harm someone showed that she was compassionate and human (well, half-human, anyway.) I loved how she slowly evolved—building her self-confidence, harnessing her powers, and using them for good.
Further, I thought the author did an excellent job showing similarities between Earth and the island occupied by Draviukians. Besides having exceptional abilities, being an alien heir wasn’t much different than being a twelve-year-old Earthling. The plight of bullying, loneliness, and tested friendships were challenges that arose in both realities.
While I adored the personalities and the central premise of the story, I found it challenging to keep track of all the characters—their alien names versus their Earthling names and the various extraterrestrial species. Perhaps a list of names and relations preceding the story would be helpful for readers. I found my way around this by jotting down notes. With that being said, it didn’t hinder my overall reading experience.
“Emma Murphy and the Ultimate Power” would be a wonderful addition to any teen sci-fi lover’s bookshelf. And you don’t have to be young to love this novel—my inner teen fangirled over Emma’s awesomeness and desire to bring peace and community to the Draviukians. Moreover, the exceptional world-building and vivid imagery infused into the writing didn’t just give me a glimpse of the island; it grabbed me by the hand and pulled me into it! This is a five-star read!