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Dangerous by Shannon Hale
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Dangerous (2014)

by Shannon Hale

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Thanks to Netgalley.com and Bloomsbury USA Children's Books for allowing me access to this.

4.5 stars. I went into this completely blind. I had no idea what to expect. This is NOTHING like her other books, and yet the writing and story are still just as amazing. I thought the little jokes the father told were pretty funny and helped show the positive relationship she had with her parents. I could have done with a little less of the teenager-y angst, "he loves me, he hates me" stuff, but it mostly came together for me and worked in the end. And it was nice to have a love triangle appear and get squashed just as quickly. It gets really old when they drag out, and sometimes friends are just never more than friends.

Overall, I think fans of Hale's other works will enjoy this one. I would also recommend it for fans of Pittacus Lore as it has a similar feel. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
Dangerous by Shannon Hale is a page-turning science fiction adventure.

Maisie Danger Brown receives a scholarship to a space camp. She has wanted to be an astronaut since she was small, but she was also born without a right hand. Does this even matter? Excited, Maisie goes to camp and is part of a team who wins many competitions. As the winners, she and her teammates travel to visit an elevator that goes from the equator to an orbiting astroid in space. They end up actually riding the elevator. Did they get parental permission? Not exactly. While in space, she begins her journey.

Wow! I would love to say more about her journey, but it would give the surprises away. Needless to say, you will be guessing as to who can be trusted as Maisie is burdened with literally saving the entire planet. I read this novel in one day and it was a fun reading experience! It's imaginative and exciting! ( )
  acargile | Jun 1, 2014 |
Read this because James Dasher had recommended it. What a great story. One-armed girl wins a trip to an astronaut camp and ends up travelling in a space elevator to a space station that orbits the Earth. While there, she comes in contact with some alien life forms (pods) that effect her and the other young competition winners and give them very weird powers, and have them on a driving mission to do something on Earth...quickly as they are running out of time. As a background to all this, she falls in love with one of the other infected teens Wilder, watches one of them die. gets strange tattoo like marks glowing in her skin and also builds herself a kick-ass robotic arm. Loved the unpredictability of this book and was hooked from the start as I didn't know what was going to happen next. ( )
  nicsreads | Jun 1, 2014 |
Maisie Danger Brown dreams of going to space camp, but she knows her parents could never afford it. When she wins a contest she read about on the back of a cereal box, she is ecstatic -- she'll get to study advanced physics and quantum mechanics, and learn about space from the creators of the Beanstalk, the world's first and only space elevator. At space camp, she's grouped with three other campers into a "fireteam" who complete challenges together. It's a camper outside her fireteam who most intrigues her, though: Jonathan Wilder, a rich young playboy who becomes Maisie's space camp romance. When Maisie's fireteam wins all of their challenges, they are taken on a special trip to see the base of the Beanstalk. Jonathan, as best performing individual camper, is also invited. And it's at the Beanstalk where things start to go in directions Maisie could never have anticipated. Bonnie Howell, the Beanstalk's eccentric creator, allows the campers into the space elevator and then takes them on a joyride up into space, where she allows them to explore the docking station and even handle some mysterious, possibly alien technology mined from an asteroid that traveled into Earth's orbit. When the alien tech reacts unexpectedly with the five teens, they are bound together for a purpose they could never have anticipated: they must save Earth from a coming alien attack.

This book has plenty of action and, yes, danger (Maisie's middle name is a source of much hilarity), and even some romance, though nothing readers on the young end of the YA spectrum won't be able to handle. I enjoyed the read, but it fell short on a few points. The characterization of some of the adults really didn't work, for me -- they made some decisions that just didn't make sense. There were a few weak spots in the worldbuilding, too, that could have used a little more clarification. I think young teens going into this book without a lot of expectations will really love it, but more experienced readers, especially those who have read a lot of sci-fi, will find this book lacking in some ways. ( )
  foggidawn | May 30, 2014 |
Review first published on fefferbooks.com. A free advanced reader copy of this book was provided by Bloomsbury USA in exchange for an honest review. The review below is in no way influenced by this consideration.

Hey, you know what you’ve never seen from Shannon Hale before? Sci-fi.

I have to fess up: this is the first Hale I’ve ever read. She’s been recommended to me by no fewer than four different friends whose reading taste I trust, and I still hadn’t gotten around to picking up one of her books. Don’t ask me why; Hale is well-known for her Princess Academy and Books of Bayern (The Goose Girl) series. Oh, and then there’s Austenland, a movie version of which was just released on DVD/streaming and I totally have on my queue. She’s clearly an author who knows her audience and how to write.

It was Dangerous that piqued my interest, though. The synopsis reads:

Maisie Danger Brown just wanted to get away from home for a bit, see something new. She never intended to fall in love. And she never imagined stumbling into a frightening plot that kills her friends and just might kill her, too. A plot that is already changing life on Earth as we know it. There’s no going back. She is the only thing standing between danger and annihilation.

From NY Times bestselling author Shannon Hale comes a novel that asks, How far would you go to save the ones you love? And how far would you go to save everyone else?

What’s not to like? There’s so much awesome missing from this little blurb, though: a heroine who’s “nerdy,” into science, half-latina, and missing half of her right arm, for starters. A trip to science camp, and some pretty mind-blowing stuff that happens when that trip goes sideways. Oh, and the alien superpowers. (Really! Just trust me.)

Hale’s writing style is entirely enveloping. I was entirely charmed by Dangerous after just a few pages–Hale’s voice is so fresh and bright that it’s impossible not to be drawn in to Maisie’s world. The way Hale writes teenagers and their relationships with friends and family feels so much more authentic to my own experience than a lot of the angst-ridden stuff I sometimes read (I liked my parents, most of the time. Is that so weird?), and I particularly loved the scenes between Maisie and Luther.

The characters, themselves, are all fascinatingly different–there are a few of them I would really have liked to get to know better. I felt like Luther and Maisie’s mom both were fabulous, and I didn’t get quite enough time, there and Dragon fits in that category, too, for different reasons. Wilder was a complicated, emotional high point. Maisie’s dad is just plain lovable. Maisie herself is an optimistic, but no-nonsense kind of girl, and she tells us (cheerily) right up front who she is and what she’s all about. She’s clearly comfortable with who she is, though, and is able to laugh at herself. She’s a fantastic role model.

As for the plot, it’s crazy. C-R-A-Z-Y. There were a couple of times when I had to read in another room so no one would interrupt me. My heart was pounding and I could pretty much feel my eyes bugging out several times–particularly near the end of the book. There is one climactic scene that draws out the dramatic tension for so long and in a way that is so realistic to the situation that there is no way not to just freak the heck out with Maisie. It’s insane, and it’s awesome!

I really don’t know how else to describe the book without giving too much away, and Hale put too much thought and effort into unrolling the story in just the right way for me to ruin it for you. Let me just say that there were a couple of places in the book when I felt like things had shifted, and I wasn’t really sure what was going on. Roll with it. It’ll allll come together in the end, I promise!

4.5 stars. Completely clean, and crazy fun.

Dangerous releases today! Go pick up your copy. Thanks to Bloomsbury and Netgalley for the opportunity to read the galley. ( )
  fefferbooks | May 12, 2014 |
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When aspiring astronaut Maisie Danger Brown, who was born without a right hand, and the other space camp students get the opportunity to do something amazing in space, Maisie must prove how dangerous she can be and how far she is willing to go to protect everything she has ever loved.… (more)

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