Dangerous

Shannon Hale. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-59990-168-8
For Maisie Danger Brown, who yearns to become an astronaut despite her missing right hand, winning a contest to attend an astronaut boot camp for teens is the opportunity of a lifetime. Things take an extraterrestrial turn when Maisie and her fellow “fireteam” members are infected by alien technology while visiting the Beanstalk space elevator. Now possessed of amazing powers, they work to master their abilities and uncover the origin and purpose of the “tokens” that granted them. Following a tragedy affecting one of their own, Maisie and her friends go from superheroes to soldiers, their team forever splintered as they race to collect the tokens before they come to further misuse. Hale (Princess Academy) delivers an action-packed SF thriller with plenty of surprises and an intriguing premise. It’s a solid story, though it suffers from erratic pacing and a few elements that don’t quite gel, including a melodramatic love triangle, an overly complicated plot, and quirky details (such as Maisie’s father’s love of puns) that jar with the harrowing events that unfold. Ages 12–up. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/13/2014
Release date: 03/04/2014
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