Like I Need Another Obsession

I love to read.  Really, I do.  When I was very young, I remember my mom taking me to the library in Muscatine, Iowa and letting me pick whatever I wanted.  Bobbsey Twins, I tell you.  And Beezus and Ramona.  And one of my all time favorites – Bridge to Terabithia. I eventually graduated to Nancy Drew and spent all my allowance on those beautiful yellow books.  After the official “Lights out” for the night, I would lay on the floor by a nightlight and read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. 

As I got older, I read less and less.  Reading school textbooks, of any subject, made me sleepy… maybe my brain subconsciously thought that was what reading was supposed to do.  Occasionally, I would find a book that I just couldn’t put down.  Actually, whenever I would start a book that’s typically what happened.  But it’s something I just don’t do.  At least not very often.  Unless, of course, you count what I read to the kids.  Nah… I don’t count that either.

Then came my blogs and I started reading an assortment of other blogs.  It doesn’t make me sleepy.  Quite the opposite – it gives me great joy.  I could stay up for hours reading blog after blog and getting lost in time.

Along came MotherTalk and Mom Central  looking for reviewers for The Dangerous Days of Daniel X.  At first, I thought it would be a good mother-daughter read for my Spiderman, Batman, All-things-superhero 5.5 year old daughter.  (Yes, she is no longer 5 1/2 years old… she has now proclaimed herself to be 5.5.  She can thank her dad for that.)  Anyway, the book was described this way:

The greatest superpower of all isn’t to be part spider, part man, or to cast magic spells-the greatest power is the power to create.

Daniel X has that power.

Daniel’s secret abilities – like being able to manipulate objects and animals with his mind or to recreate himself in any shape he chooses – have helped him survive. But Daniel doesn’t have a normal life. He is the protector of the earth, the Alien Hunter, with a mission beyond what anyone’s imagining.

From the day that his parents were brutally murdered before of his very eyes, Daniel has used his unique gifts to hunt down their assassin. Finally, with the help of The List, bequeathed to him in his parents’ dying breath, he is closing in on the killer. Now, on his own, he vows to take on his father’s mission – and to take vengeance in the process.

Cool.  My daughter will love it.  Well, I thought she would.  It arrived and I started to proof read it.  “Oh, just a few pages” I told myself.  Uh huh.  We have a problem.  I kept reading.  Without my daughter.  Whoops.  And I did, indeed, get obsessed with it.  I read it whenever I could.  The book is designed to appeal to several age ranges so the chapters are literally only 2-3 pages long.  That’s awesome for a very-busy, easily-interrupted mom.  I could pick it up and read a few chapters here and there.  As an example, when the girls were playing in the tub or while DH was driving.

In my defense, now that I’ve read it, I don’t know that my daughter could have grasped the true storyline.  She certainly wouldn’t have captured the numerous references to current pop-culture.  Author Peterson made reference to Comedy Central, Tiger Woods, Bono and Sanjaya, Sideshow Bob, movies Lord of the Rings and 300 and the hit show 24 – just to name a few.  Having previously lived in Los Angeles, I giggled when the author referenced Whole Foods and real streets that I was familiar with.  It could have only been improved by Daniel chowing on an In N Out burger.

What is the book about?  It’s about a 15 year old supernatural who is on the hunt to exterminate the worst aliens living on Earth.  His reference is The List hidden by his parents before their death to public enemy #1 when Daniel was only three years old.  This particular book is about his overzealous attempt to take on #6 on the list – a creature way more sinister and powerful than Daniel.  Want more?  Check out the trailer.       

What did I think?  Well, the fact that it was a quick read book really appealed to me.  Being able to read small amounts at a time was great for my schedule.  I have not read previous Patterson books so I wasn’t influenced by prior works.  While there were a few parts or phrases that seemed a little choppy, the author managed to quickly smooth it back into place.  Sometimes with a simple comment like (paraphrased) “I hope I didn’t give away the end of this story.”

By the way, this isn’t one of those “jump to the last page to see what happened” books.  The author ended the story then included two teasers for upcoming books in the same series.  I’m seriously asking myself “How long will it take for the next book to come out?”  The Daniel X website shows that book 2 is slated to release July 2009.  I’m kicking myself for reading the samplers!

Book Specifics:

Title – The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

Author – James Patterson

Publisher – Little, Brown & Co.

Genre – Fiction

Pages – 272

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X is a comfortable, easy-to-read book for a variety of personalities and age ranges.  Pick up a copy – if you don’t like it, there’s a good chance that someone else in your household will.

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