Archive

Posts Tagged ‘ryan’

Book Review: The Prometheus Project: Captured by Douglas E. Richards (series, #2)

Alien buildings.Summary:
Brother/sister duo Ryan and Regan are back only this time they’re officially part of the team of scientists working in the top-secret alien city discovered deep underground in Pennsylvania.  They rush off every day after school to work in the city of Prometheus.  One weekend they convince their parents to let them sleep over in the city, only to wake up to discover all of the adults captured by a ruthless alien escaped convict whose mind control abilities mysteriously fail to work on the kids.  It’s up to them to save not just the adults, but the earth itself from alien rule.

Review:
This follow-up to The Prometheus Project: Trapped (review) brings even more action and science than the first time around.  It’s also a longer length that is more suitable for the older middle grade crowd.

Ryan and Regan’s relationship with each other has progressed from sibling tolerance to a level of respect for each other clearly due to working together in the city.  It’s nice to see a healthy sibling relationship modeled in a middle grade book.

Again the plot fooled me with a twist ending I didn’t see coming, but that made perfect sense when it was revealed.  This is the sort of thing I’d have loved as a middle grade reader.  A mystery that manages to out-wit me without playing any tricks.

The villain is threatening without being too frightening.  Although the kids’ parents are held captive, no undue violence is shown.  Predominantly the scientists are held with plastic ties on their wrists and a simple verbal threat of “do this or else….”  It seems an appropriate level of suspense for the age-range.  The enemy is formidable, but it is possible to out-wit him.

Although the science, plot, and characters are strong, something just couldn’t let me jump from liking it a lot to loving it.  Perhaps this is because I am out of the age-range intended, but it does seem to me as though sometimes the story expects a bit too little of the young reader enjoying it.  I hope in future books that Richards challenges young readers a bit more with the writing in addition to the science.

Overall, this is another strong entry in this middle grade series.  I firmly believe the series will keep young readers with an interest in scifi and secret government operations happily engaged while parents and guardians can have peace of mind about what they are reading.

4 out of 5 stars

Source:  Won copy in exchange for my honest review from the author via LibraryThing

Previous Books in Series:
The Prometheus Project: Trapped, review

Buy It (See all Children’s Science Fiction, Fantasy & Magic Literature)

Book Review: The Prometheus Project: Trapped by Douglas E. Richards (series, #1)

August 23, 2011 1 comment

Silhouette of two kids standing in outerspace.Summary:
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!

Review:
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

Buy It