Monday, September 29, 2008
Daniel X by James Patterson
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On Saturday night I opened this book just as America's Most Wanted began on TV. Don't ask me who is "America's Most Wanted" this week because I have absolutely no idea. By the time I went to bed I was on Chapter 68.
Daniel X is an orphaned Alien Hunter who uses his super powers to hunt evil aliens inhabiting and threatening the Earth. With a penchant for gourmet cooking, an interest in elephants and an eagerness to play sports so desperate, he creates imaginary friends and then volunteers himself as the soccer ball, Daniel is lonely but makes the best of it. It is this characterization of Daniel X as unselfish and generous that gives this book a good message for teenagers who so easily become self absorbed.
Like all of Patterson's books this is a fast read. The story is compelling and the chapters are short- some a couple of pages. It makes the reader feel as if he is making rapid progress.
Contrasting it to the Maximum Ride series, I would say it is not quite up to that level. The fact that this book has been co-written, or ghost-written with another author can be felt. The storyline is not as smooth and the dialogue, a little more forced.
However, it is a book, for the most part wholesome, interesting and exciting enough to capture the attention of its audience which is teenage boys and girls. I would consider it a step up from a comic book without pictures and who doesn't like to read comic books? The plot and vivid characters are of the same intensity. If you have a comic book reader who has shown no interest in anything beyond that milieu this may do the trick.
The sequel is begun at the end to ensure future interest. If you are looking for a book for a reluctant teen reader this will serve nicely. And to begin the habit of book reading is so crucial and this book makes it so painless.