Book Review: The Prometheus Project: Trapped by Douglas E. Richards (series, #1)
Ryan and Regan can’t believe their scientist parents made them move from San Diego to the total snoozefest of Pennsylvania practically overnight just so they can work at a boring science corporation, Proact. But when they accidentally overhear their parents talking, they realize there may be more to Proact than meets the eye, and they’re determined to find out!
I don’t think I realized when I entered the giveaway for this (a really long time ago, sorry about that, Richards!) that it’s a middle grade/children’s series. I don’t usually read below the YA level anymore unless I’m reading to my four year old nephew, but I am a librarian, so I put my librarian cap on for this book. I also tried to hearken back to what I would have enjoyed at the age of eight or nine.
Ryan and Regan are a cute brother/sister pair. Ryan is older and thus underestimates his sister sometimes. They tease each other, but never cruelly, and it is evident that they truly love each other. The sibling dynamic is definitely well-done. It was refreshing to see the adults depicted as adults and not idiots or mean-spirited. What Ryan and Regan accomplish is because they’re the smart kids of smart parents, not out of any short-comings of the adults.
The science is really well-done. Richards’ author bio states that he used to write for National Geographic Kids, and it shows. He explains things eloquently without talking down to kids. All of the science found in the book is factual. I would have loved stumbling upon such learning in fiction as a kid.
The ending has a twist that even I didn’t see coming, and I was sort of expecting to being a grown-up reading it, haha. It’s not cheesy or over-the-top, and I’m betting kids will love the surprise.
My main criticisms are that sometimes the descriptions of the characters focus too much on their hair and eye color to the exclusion of other things, and the book felt too short. It just seemed a bit short for the grade level. Mentally I compared it to Nancy Drew which are generally like 25% longer, and I think that length would be ideal. The sequel is longer though, so that’s a good thing.
Overall I think if you have middle grade reading level kids who like science, mysteries, or scifi you should feel completely confident in handing them this book.
4 out of 5 stars
Source: Won copy in exchange for my honest review from the author via LibraryThing