One of the best science fiction novels for teens since Ender’s Game. Maisie Danger could almost rival the superheroes of Marvel and DC. Shannon Hale’s new book is addictively epic and altogether a wonderful story about a smart girl who happened to be born with only one hand and, through a space program, gains otherworldly powers to save the world from alien annihilation.
When Maisie Danger fills out a sweepstakes application for a special astronaut camp, she doesn’t think she’s going to win, but reality sets in when a ton of blue cereal boxes show up at her door. Maisie leaves behind her best friend, Luther, and her parents to go to the astronaut camp. There, the winners are divided into “fireteams” and compete for the privilege of taking a trip to a meteor. There, Maisie, who scares most of the other kids because of her arm, meets Jonathan Ingalls Wilder, the son of a rich and powerful businessman who happens to be very shady. Maisie and Wilder begin to form a relationship, but when Maisie’s fireteam wins and Jonathan is selected for having the best individual score, things begin to fall apart. Life’s already confusing when Maisie and the rest travel into space, but things escalate when the fireteam handles these mysterious tokens. They embed themselves into them and suddenly Maisie, Wilder, Ruth, Mi-Sun, and Jacques become superhuman. Maisie has technological gifts, Ruth is strong as an ox, Mi-Sun can shoot blue pellets of metal, Jacques can create metal to form a human shield, and Wilder is the thinker and connects them all together for a purpose. However, having the tokens means new stresses on all of them, and Ruth is the first to break down. Though they all feel called for a purpose, to save the Earth from… something, Ruth’s deterioration causes a chain reaction that changes the fireteam and Maisie, forever.
From the first chapter, I knew I was going to LOVE this book, and it did not disappoint. Maisie is an excellent heroine as she is both strong, smart, and did not become a stereotyped version of herself just for romance. Young teens, older teens, and even adults will like this book!
YA Clean Read as this has no language, sexual situations, but does have a bit of mostly non-graphic violence.