Monday, August 24, 2009

Daniel X - Watch the Skies

The below mentioned product(s) was/were given to me at no charge for review. I am not being monetarily paid for this review (other than receipt of the free product). I will give my honest opinion and thoughts regarding said product(s).
I will admit, I have not read the first Daniel X book, The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, written by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. From the likes of the second book, Daniel X, Watch the Skies, written by Patterson and Ned Rust, I think that I can chalk that up as my loss.

I have been a long time fan of Patterson and I loved his books ever since picking up When the Wind Blows, the book that first introduces us to one of my favorite characters, Max. I wondered if Daniel X would remind me of Max, and I was pleasantly surprised that he did not. Instead, Daniel reminds me of my three little brothers.

Daniel is a teenager, full of raging hormones and quirkiness, but the thing that makes Daniel different from the average teenager is that he is in fact, wait for it… alien. But, he is a good alien. He has the ability to perform wicked awesome feats such as create friends from his imagination, smell alien sweat from 10 miles away, control minds and did I mention that he can blow fire (or spit wads) from his fingertip? In his spare time, Daniel hunts aliens. The bad ones.

In Watch the Skies, Daniel is hunting Number 5 and his pals, who have decided that they must exterminate all humans on earth. Seems like a lofty goal to me but hey, it’s fiction. Daniel and his crew of imaginary friends come to life, including a new girl interest, Judy Blue Eyes, are geared up and ready for battle.

Daniel, much like my little brothers, is full of sarcasm, imagination and raging teenage hormones (like the time that he and Judy Blue Eyes have a make out session in the bushes in front of the alien infested television station). The way Daniel is constantly getting out of class, using his imaginary mom who gives her okie dokie with various excuses, is ingenious and my brothers would have killed for this ability!

What I appreciate most about this book is that it made my daughter want to read the first one. While the book appears to be geared toward the tweenaged boy, my nine year old daughter loved it! She is totally into explosions, sarcasm, and gross. This book is full of all three. The chapters are short enough that she didn’t feel overwhelmed at reading them and as I warned her, the book is a page turner. She read it in under a week which may be a record for her. She is letting her friend, “who is a boy, but not a boy friend” read it next.

I would recommend Watch the Skies to girls and boys, especially of the 9-11 age. This is a story about a boy who hunts aliens, using his imagination as his greatest tool. As parents, we cannot foster the use of imagination enough in our children, it is helpful to have a book that nudges the idea along.

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