Today, we’re pleased to be kicking off the official blog tour for The Planet Thieves by Dan Krokos!
As a big fan of the author’s False Memory, I was very eager to read his first middle grade sci fi adventure, which follows a 13-year-old cadet named Mason Stark, who is aboard the space ship Egypt when it’s attacked by an alien race called the Tremist.When the ship’s captain is killed, and with most of the crew out of commission, Mason must find a way to rescue the survivors–and to find out why the aliens attacked in the first place.
This book is described as “Star Trek meets Rick Riordan,” and I can tell you that the first reference at least is dead-on. From the language to the situational danger to the physical setting and items, Trek fans will find that this world seems like one they’ve visited before. While some readers may quibble about that, there’s a certain comfort in that sense of familiarity, since I felt acclimated to the ship and objects and procedures pretty quickly.
I liked that the author doesn’t dumb down his language for younger readers, the way Mason’s quick thinking (and sometimes his mistakes) propels the story forward, and the intriguing mystery involving his friend Merrin. I also really liked the way the Tremist is described:
Right in the center of the screen, two Tremist crouched in their magnificent armor. It resembled plate, like knights in ancient Europe once wore, but this was not dull hammered metal–the surface of the Tremist armor shone weirdly, like oil, shifting colors depending on the angle.
Their helmets were the worst parts–the face was a perfect oval, the shape a normal face would be, but it was a pristine mirror, so to look at a Tremist head-on, it was said, you saw yourself. The last thing you saw was the terror on your face. A perfect image of your head, floating atop a Tremist body.
I mean, WOW! How awesome is that?
I will say that I felt that the many flashbacks often interrupted the flow of the story, and I wish that we’d gotten more of a sense of the way Mason feels about things. There are some pretty cool scenes later in the book that I won’t spoil, but even ones like that might’ve felt a bit more immersive if we’d had more of a sense of being there with him and experiencing what he felt.
Still, this is a fun read overall, with tons of cliffhanger chapter endings to ensure you’ll be turning the pages to find out what happens next. I’d recommend this one specifically for readers in the book’s target age range of upper middle grade or younger YA, who will likely find the quick pacing and action-packed story an easy and entertaining read.
The Planet Thieves will be out on May 21, 2013. The series has already been optioned for film by Warner Bros. and HeyDay Films, the outfits responsible for the Harry Potter film franchise. You can also read the first chapter of the book and find out more information on its official website.
Win a copy of The Planet Thieves!
Thanks to our friends at Tor Teen, we’re giving away a copy of the book before it’s released in stores. Just leave us a thoughtful comment below letting us know why you’d like a copy of the book (remember, we’re recommending this one mostly for non-adult readers), and fill out the Rafflecopter form.