Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X (Is teen alien redundant?)

Daniel X is your run of the mill teenage alien hunter hunting down the universe’s most wanted aliens. Did I mention that he can manipulate matter. (Insert eye roll here with long overly dramatic sigh.) What do you mean that you don’t think there’s anything “run of the mill” about teenage alien hunters? You don’t know what it means to manipulate matter? Okay, I’ll come down off my scientific high horse and speak to the “lay person.” He can make things real by imagining them to be, using stuff that already exists around him. Let me give you an example: he makes his friends by thinking them up and making them real, tangible, able to talk and act and think using atoms in the air. So, I guess that makes him unusual even for aliens (man am I off to a good start).  Daniel is hunting down alien outlaws on a list of aliens that live on planet earth (aka Terra Firma) or at least hang out here from time to time. He’s seeking revenge for the death of his parents (aren’t they all) who were killed by some other worldly giant praying mantis called, none other than, the Prayer. This time Daniel is seeking #6 Ergent Seth, and he may just have bit off more than he can chew.

The whole idea was kind of goofy from the start, but I kind of liked it anyway. Maybe I thought the story was about me (aka Daniel) or maybe it was just kind of fun. It was a pretty quick read and it was entertaining enough to want to read the other books in the series. As a science teacher, I always wonder why with all the diversity of life on our planet alone (don’t even get me started about Gliese 581), why are most aliens always pictured being like something that we already know. Kids are surprised everyday by little crazy looking things they discover in the microscope, but yet we can’t even stretch our imagination to come up with something with a different and strange form unlike anything we see on our planet (The Host by Stephanie Meyer was a pretty good form for an alien in my opinion)? With all that being  said, I think middle-schoolers and those with a liking for some good, quick, clean entertainment will enjoy their flight through this book. I’ll put the series on my list.

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