Friday, May 30, 2014

Shannon Hale is Dangerous

Dangerous by Shannon Hale
Genre: YA Sci-Fi

         How far would you go to save the world? Probably not as far as Maisie Danger Brown...

"When Maisie Danger Brown nabbed a spot at a NASA-like summer boot camp, she never expected to uncover a conspiracy that would change her life forever. And she definitely didn't plan to fall in love.

"But now there's no going back-Maisie's the only thing standing between the Earth and annihilation. She must become the hero the world needs. The only problem is: How does a regular girl from Salt Lake City do that, exactly? It's not as though there's a handbook for this sort of thing. It's up to Maisie to come up with a plan-and to find the courage to carry it out-before she loses her heart...and her life."

Wow, you impressed me, Mrs. Shannon Hale. I heard a lot about this book from her blog, about how she's writing another genre-hopping book (sci-fi in a contemporary world and a superhero novel, instead of a comic) and writing a minority character who also has one arm. And Hale didn't let me down. Sure, I like some of her other books better (The Goose Girl series and Princess Academy to be precise), but there is so much to love in this novel:
                 1. Maisie Danger Brown: I mean, with a nickname like that, you can do anything, right? I loved that she was half-Paraguayan (so unique) and had one arm, with a prosthesis that had a hilarious, always-changing name.
                 2. The Plot: It was more creative than other science fiction stories I have read. Yes, there are aliens, but they aren't the main focus of the story.
                 3. The Humor: Maisie's dad makes pretty hilarious puns throughout the book, and Maisie is funny in her nerdiness.
                 4. The Poetry: What? Poetry in a science-fiction book, where all the characters are obsessed with science and technology? I know, right?! This might just be the English major in me, but I loved that Hale laced the story with real poems, adding another layer of depth and beauty. It shows that literature and science might be able to live side-by-side after all.
                  5. The Similes: Hale always writes so beautifully and eloquently and peppers her novels with similes, which are so clear and creative.

There were other things about the book that I enjoyed, but I don't want to give away too much. There were just a few things that I thought could be improved upon. The first part of the book, when the characters are at the camp, seem to go too fast, and I would have liked more information/detail about the fireteam training. Since I'm a highly visual person, a few more details about what the characters looked like would have helped; I had a hard time seeing them in my head. And I was confused about what the havoc armor looked like exactly.

Overall, though, this book was excellent, and Hale did what she wanted to do: write a thrilling sci-fi superhero story, and about a girl, no less! I give it a 4 out of 5 and recommend it for 15 year olds and up.

What I learned: Don't judge people too harshly until you understand their motivations. An elevator that goes up to space=awesome. Love is not made up of attraction, infatuation and consternation; there's more to it than just tingly feelings.

How I do wish I could have understood more clearly all the sciency words she used in the novel...

My Favorite Quote: "Life is precious because it's finite."

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