DANGEROUS by Shannon Hale


Age Range: 12 - 16
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Fairy-tale–telling Hale tackles straight-up science fiction in a tale seemingly tailor-made to forestall complaints about lovelorn teen heroines and all-white casts of characters.

Maisie Danger Brown (really), smart, home-schooled, one-handed half-Paraguayan daughter of scientists, has always dreamed of being an astronaut. When she sees an ad for a space camp competition from Bonnie Howell, the woman who built the world’s first (and only) space elevator, she can’t resist. And she wins! Space camp is electrifying, especially charming Wilder—Maisie knows it’s just hormones and an immature brain, but it feels good. Then Howell takes the strongest team (Maisie’s) plus Wilder on a ride into space, and the five teens end up infected by nanotechnology tokens of extraterrestrial origins. Whew! Cue a dark, superherolike tale: Friends die, adventures are had, kisses are exchanged, the Earth is saved. The tale is choppy at times and weak on worldbuilding, with surprisingly thin characterization—but girl power abounds, and the pages keep turning. The romance that Maisie resists and recognizes as mostly just a hormonal rush is endearing and happily doesn’t quite overshadow saving the world or her family, although it sometimes comes close.

A change of pace that largely succeeds, showing that Hale’s range is wider than her readers might have expected. (Science fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-59990-168-8
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2014

Kirkus Interview
Dean Hale and Shannon Hale
November 25, 2014

In Shannon and Dean Hale’s new book The Princess in Black, Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Our reviewer writes that The Princess in Black has “action, clever humor, delightful illustrations and expectation-defying secret identities—when does the next one come out?” The Princess in Black made it onto our Best Middle-Grade Books of 2014 list, which is one reason we’re delighted to talk to the Hales this week on Kirkus TV. View video >


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