Had I known what this book was really about, I wouldn’t have read it. The publisher probably predicted that consumers would feel this way, and thus designed the cover summary to highlight the novel’s best attribute – astronaut boot camp – and not mention the story’s real focus.
The first space elevator scene is incredible; I’ve never read anything like it! I loved learning, and hope to read more, about space elevators, and Shannon Hale excellently describes where they are, what they do, and how they work.
That alone accounts for the extra star in my rating – the rest of the novel is only two stars.
The characters’ banter is probably supposed to be cute or funny, but instead is annoying. There’s a love triangle, but the result is never in doubt because we’ve encountered these archetypes in many stories.
A definite plus to Dangerous is its characters’ diversity. And while I’m happy with diversity for the sake of diversity, it seems…awkward when the plot specifically calls for diverse characters. e.g. The organisation wants bilingual teens for their project, and in particular chooses Maisie because she was born without an arm, too. So instead of normalising cultural and able diversity, the book treats it as extraordinary or supernatural.
Or maybe I – monolingual and able-bodied – totally misunderstand Dangerous. In that case, I’m sorry and will try to further my diversity education. To me, diversity inclusion should just BE, no explanation required.
Anyway, since the publisher wasn’t more upfront with its summary…
Tez’s honest marketing: “Dangerous is a YA superhero origin story. Teens are infected with alien superpowers, which will assist their fight against the upcoming alien invasion…if the teens don’t kill each other first.”
P.S. The novel could’ve done without Maisie’s mother’s gang history. It really doesn’t contribute to the main plot. It’s possible to talk about South American countries without mentioning crime, but novelists seem to rely on this stereotype.