Author: Shannon Hale
Series: Dangerous #1
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Release Date: March 4, 2014
The Overview: Maisie Danger Brown just wanted to get away from home for a bit, see something new. She never intended to fall in love. And she never imagined stumbling into a frightening plot that kills her friends and just might kill her, too. A plot that is already changing life on Earth as we know it. There’s no going back. She is the only thing standing between danger and annihilation.
Having read (and loved) Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, I was really excited to see how she would take on a futuristic YA novel. I was a little concerned that her voice wouldn’t transfer over to the genre, but as it turns out the writing style was the only redeeming quality to the book.
That might sound a little harsh, so let me explain why I feel this way:
When I first read the basic concept of the book, I was sold right away. I loved the idea of teens competing for a chance to go to space and was really looking forward to the series of trials they’d have to face to get there. With that initial promise of what was to come, the first page of my post notes were pure geeked-out excitement. But by halfway through the book, none of those promises had been delivered on. The entire competition (which could have been epically amazing had it been done well) was summarized into a couple of paragraphs. In fact, many others cool ideas were skimmed over this fashion, giving the pacing and oddly rushed feeling. The only thing she took time to develop was the love story.
Indeed, romance seemed to be Hale’s only priority and the only thing she was willing to slow down and highlight… and it wasn’t even that great of a love story. I don’t mind instaloves, I really don’t, but I have to be able to see what’s drawing the characters together right from the start. In this case, the boy was outright rude to her, treating her as if he only wanted to get into her pants. I will never understand how a boy who behaves like he’s only interested in sex and treats the protagonists poorly can be considered a love interest. Evidently, I have really high standards for whom my book heroines should be dating. It was disappointing to say the least.
Overall, because I was so on board with the initial concept and original idea for the story, I feel like this novel was an opportunity wasted. However, because my objections are almost all centered around plot decisions, I will probably read this author in the future even though this book was a bust. I’ve seen her create magical worlds and sweet love stories in the past and I look forward to more of that in the future.
Recommended Reading: I will likely not be recommending Dangerous to other readers.
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