Daniel X: Alien Hunter Review
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After introducing readers to teenage alien hunter Daniel X in The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, James Patterson (along with co-author Leopoldo Gout and a team of artists) delivers the second installment of the Daniel X series in full, vibrant color in the graphic novel, Daniel X: Alien Hunter.

Alien Hunter takes place in Tokyo, where Daniel is trying to hunt down Number 7 on his parents’ List of Alien Outlaws on Terra Firma. Number 7 is the chairman of Game Consortium, a company that sponsors an interplanetary hunt. But while the list usually provides all kinds of information on the aliens listed, it provides no information on #7. No species, no abilities. So Daniel’s got to proceed with caution.

While studying #7, Daniel discovers that the alien bad guy has a son—one who’s not exactly thrilled with his dad’s line of work. So Daniel decides to befriend #7’s son—not realizing that, by getting so close to this mysteriously evil alien, the hunter might soon become the hunted.

Since Alien Hunter’s vibrant artwork tells just as much of the story as the text, this 125-page graphic novel zings by. Due to the book’s visual style, however, the story isn’t always completely developed. For instance, the book’s description suggests that #7 might be attempting to take over the planet—though that doesn’t really come across in the story. Mostly, he just seems like a really ugly bad guy who’s responsible for the deaths of various endangered alien species (as well as plenty of innocent human bystanders along the way).

Still, the story’s simplicity makes it enjoyable. It gives readers a chance to get to know the characters—especially poor, lonely Daniel, who’s thrilled to make a real, human friend in #7’s son, Kildare. And there’s plenty of cool alien action along the way, too.

The best thing about the book, though, is its artwork. The illustrations are vibrant and bold, and they almost seem to jump off the page. Though it’s pretty obvious that a number of artists worked on the illustrations—since the characters don’t always look the same from one scene to the next—the graphics still do an excellent job of bringing the story to life. In fact, once you finish reading the story, you’ll end up going back to study the illustrations again.

Daniel X: Alien Hunter is definitely a departure from the typical Patterson novel—but it’s a fun one. In this second book in the Daniel X series, the story feels more consistent, the main character is developed just a bit more, and (best of all) the stunning illustrations make it all the more thrilling. So if you enjoyed The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, you’ll enjoy Alien Hunter even more.

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