The Dangerous Days of Daniel X Review
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One night, when Daniel was just three years old, his parents were killed in their home by an insect-like monster that still haunts Daniel’s dreams. Thanks to his superhero-like ability to create and transform things with his mind, Daniel was able to escape from the giant beast who called himself The Prayer. But, for the twelve years since then, he’s been on his own—with a very important job to do.

Daniel’s parents were Alien Hunters. They were sent to Earth to protect it from all kinds of evil aliens that intend to harm the planet and its inhabitants. And on the day they died, Daniel knew that he had to pick up where his parents left off. Though he’s all alone, he can use his powers to create his own friends and family whenever he needs help—or whenever he gets lonely. And when Daniel heads to California to take on Ergent Seth—#6 on his List of Alien Outlaws on Terra Firma—he’ll need them more than ever.

This first book in James Patterson’s new teen sci-fi series (this time, co-written with Michael Ledwidge) already has a movie in the works—and it’s sure to be quite the adventure. Daniel is part alien-chasing Agent J from Men in Black and part David Rice, the loner teen with super powers from Jumper. And that makes him a fascinating character—part superhero, part lonely teenager. Sometimes he’s just a normal high school kid—one with plenty of teenage attitude—and sometimes he displays maturity and brilliance that are well beyond his years. But, well, I guess that’s just how it goes when you’re an alien kid chasing bad guys on Earth.

In typical Patterson style, Daniel X is a lightning-fast page-turner—with those short, two- and three-page chapters that make it an absolutely addictive read. I guarantee that you’ll keep reading just one more chapter until it’s well past your bedtime.

At the same time, though, Daniel X isn’t Patterson’s best. It took me a while to get into the story—and, even then, a few of the details didn’t seem to work. Also, the narration is sometimes a bit shaky—and, at times, I had a hard time picturing a fourteen-year-old kid (no matter how advanced he is) saying some of the things that Daniel says.

But what makes Daniel X an entertaining read is its childlike playfulness. It’s filled with Patterson’s signature pop-culture references (some of which will, admittedly, go well over teen readers’ heads). It’s sometimes silly, and it’s sometimes incredibly clever. And there’s plenty of teen drama and other-worldly action as Daniel travels from Portland down to California—and even into space.

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X was definitely written for a younger, sci-fi-loving audience. But even though I’m neither a teenager nor a fan of science fiction, I still look forward to seeing what’s in store for Patterson’s new alien-hunting hero.

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