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City of Ruins: Danger Boy Episode 4 by Mark…
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City of Ruins: Danger Boy Episode 4

by Mark London Williams

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I read the first three Danger Boy books 4-5 years ago and I loved them! I remember these novels really stood out to me because the author didn't talk down to me. It felt like real problems being solved by real kids like me. I was very excited to find out there was another book which continued the adventure of Eli, Thea, and Clyne.

Clyne, the talking dinosaur from another dimension, is my favorite character! Just the premise of his character is enough to get a giggle out of most people. His unique, naive perspective on the adventure balances the more serious perspective of Eli in this book.

The trio traveled back to Jerusalem so there was bound to be religious themes and I think the author handled them well. He portrayed the prophet as a person rather than an unreachable person. Other novels can get bogged down and forget to move the plot when they introduce religious themes.

As Thea spent most of this novel sick, we didn't get to see much from her, but I noticed there was some hints that we don't know everything about Thea. I will be interested to see her character develop more in the next novel.

Eli grew up in the span of this novel and I could relate to the way he felt. Going from wanting to be a grown-up or suddenly being that grown-up person and having younger kids look up to you is confusing! Responsibly makes the adult and Eli has realized that if he acts like an adult, people will respect him. This is not an easy thing to learn for some kids!

Don't let me fool you into thinking that this is a super serious book though! I think my favorite part of this book was when Clyne finally joins Eli in Jerusalem. His impeccable bad timing was just too funny! I just had to put down the book and laugh. ( )
  ameliadefield | Jul 29, 2017 |
Being a huge fan of books one through three, I could not wait to pick up the newest installment of Danger Boy. It seems it took an awfully long time to write and come out. I have to be honest, what a disappointment and what a huge waste of time this was. The story is very disjointed, bouncing all over the place and within each place you are bounced, nothing exciting happens and not much makes too much sense. City of Ruins is extremely boring and just didnt have the interesting blend of history and adventure that the other books offered. Another thing I am starting to find with a lot of these young adult series is that they take too long to be published. If a series is going to be more than a few books, and if they are meant for children, these children will be off to college and will have long lost interest in the stories when it takes too long to complete them. I had a hard time remembering all that had happened in the last book since it was so long ago and just found that I really had to struggle to finish this installment. Frankly, this was just terrible. It left me not caring what happens next and it probably left me not wanting to mark my calendar a year or more from now for book #5. The author will have to really create some new interest with the next one if he plans to keep this going. ( )
  vernefan | Dec 8, 2009 |
Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com

It's the year 2020 and Eli Sands is being held captive by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the people who pushed him into this whole Danger Boy, time-travel thing to begin with. They claim to be studying him to find out what it is about his bio-mechanical structure that gives him the ability to travel through time unharmed. But, that's about all they'll tell him, and it's the least of his concerns. Eli has many more important questions, like where are they keeping his friends?

Thea, a human girl from far in the past, and Cline, a highly evolved dragon-like creature from a completely different time and place, have become Eli's time-travel companions. Eli doesn't like being apart from the "family" they have created. Speaking of family, where is Eli's mother? He hasn't seen her since they all accidentally ended up in the 1960's. If DARPA can keep track of him, why can't they seem to locate his mom? And how about his dad? Isn't he supposed to be working for them? The only personal contact Eli has is with the DARPA agents, and he only knows them by number, not even their code names, much less their real names!

When the alarm goes off and Eli is deserted, he sees an opportunity that he can't pass up. He escapes his prison and wanders through the DARPA tunnels in search of his friends, and maybe some answers.

Finding his friends proves to be the easy part, and raises more questions than answers. Cline mysteriously appears in another set of rooms. Rooms that somehow duplicate the rooms that Eli lived in with his parents when they started their time-travel experiments. How did these things get here? Who would want to replicate Eli's home? Why? Thea is being interrogated elsewhere by the same DARPA agents that were testing Eli. But Thea seems to be not right somehow. Eli is sure she has the deadly slow pox that has been infecting the public and forcing quarantines all over the world. 30, a head DARPA agent, explains that the slow pox epidemic was created by DARPA to control people. The only people infected are the ones they infected on purpose, and Thea was not chosen for that. But then why is she sick?

It turns out that DARPA's effort to control everything is causing it all to fall apart. The harder they try to contain everything and everyone, the more everything spirals out of control. And now they need Eli's help. But why should he help the people who held him hostage, who kept him from his father, lost Cline to a traveling freak show, and created a disease that mutated and infected Thea and is now incurable? He shouldn't. But he will. Because he might be able to fix all of this, repair the damage that time-travel has created in history, find his mom, locate Cline, and, hopefully, save Thea.

In order to do any of that, he'll have to travel back to biblical times, to a Jerusalem destroyed by war and unwelcoming to strangers. A place far in the past where Eli finds a strange array of friends and enemies from the future.

This is Episode Four in the DANGER BOY series, and the first one that I read. (I know, not really the normal way to go about things.) Due to the fact that I missed the first three, I was a bit hesitant to read this. I admit I was a bit lost at times. I don't tell you all of this to discourage you. In fact, it's the exact opposite. Even not completely knowing what was going on I thought this was a great book! I love the characters; Cline especially is hilarious with his extreme intelligence and odd appreciation for pop culture. I really like the concept of the story, as well as this particular piece of it. Also, it's a really cool way to get a bird's eye view of history! If you've read the first three, I bet you'll like this one. If not, but you're a fan of time-travel, or history, or just good adventure, go check out the series. I know I plan to. I don't think either of us will be disappointed. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 10, 2009 |
CITY OF RUINS is the fourth book of the Danger Boy series. The main character, Eli, is imprisoned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or D.A.R.P.A. for short. He was imprisoned along with his friends Clyne and Thea. D.A.R.P.A. uses time travel as a weapon. Thea has symptoms slow pox, which is a disease that slowly dissolves your nervous system and turns you into mush. In order to find the cure, Eli time travels to ancient Jerusalem where he meets an unexpected enemy and one angry mob.

This book is great for anyone who loves history and adventure. ( )
  judithkaye | Aug 22, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763638110, Paperback)

"Readers will revel in the fractured time line, as well as in Eli’s ruminations on relativity, unintended consequences of technology, and quantum flux." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

After another close call, Eli Sands, aka Danger Boy, is back in San Francisco in 2020. The bad news is that he and his friends, Clyne and Thea, are being held captive by the government agency DARPA. Since their last foray into the Fifth Dimension, history has been unraveling, the deadly slow pox is spreading fast, and DARPA wants to send Eli back in time to ancient Jerusalem. But Eli and crew discover a city in ruins from a Babylonian invasion and an angry mob ready to stone them. Will Danger Boy and company ever find their way home again?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:41 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Having traced a dimensional rift to Jerusalem in 583 B.C.E., DARPA sends thirteen-year-old Eli and his friends into the past to try to prevent the unraveling of history and the spread of the deadly slow pox.

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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763628719, 0763638110

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