Author: Dan Krokos
Series: The Planet Thieves
Genre: Young Reader
Rating: 4/5 stars
The Overview: Two weeks ago, thirteen-year-old Mason Stark and seventeen of his fellow cadets from the Academy for Earth Space Command boarded the SS Egypt. The trip was supposed to be a short routine voyage to log their required spacetime for summer quarter.
But routine goes out the airlock when they’re attacked by the Tremist, an alien race who have been at war with humanity for the last sixty years.
What a cool book!
This was a a fast-paced story that just kept adding to the excitement with each page. My favorite was the very beginning: Krokos dropped in the inciting incident right away, told us what was important to the protagonist, and gave the audience a lovable character worth rooting for. All in all, it was probably the best intro to a book I’ve read all year.
Characterization was definitely one of this author’s strengths. I mentioned above how much I liked the main protagonist, but the side characters were just as good, adding a great deal of humor and entertainment to the story. Although I enjoyed the overall story and conflicts, the characters are what’s fueling my desire to read the second book – I just have to know what happens to them next!
This would be an excellent introductory book for kids wanting to try science fiction. It had all the elements of space travel, alien races, new worlds, and most importantly, laser weapon battles! Heck, forget science fiction – this is a great book to get kids interested in science. Krokos interspersed a good bit of facts on the laws of the universe and did so in a way that was fun and made you want to learn more.
Overall, for the younger audience, it was perfect – it emphasized good morals like loyalty and friendship and also had some really cool moments of wonder. It is not quite on the level of Ender’s Game as far as its ability to be appealing to both adults and children, (mostly because it lacked a little robustness and complexity) but it’s the closest thing I’ve come across since.
Recommendations: Even though it wasn’t quite the groundbreaking tale I hoped it would be, it was definitely a worthwhile book and one I will be recommending a lot in the future. My only caution for parents is that it did contain a bit of light profanity.
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