Title: Daniel X: Watch the Skies
Author: James Patterson and Ned Rust
Genre: Middle grade science fiction
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from Mother-Talk
First line: It was a pretty regular early-summer night at 72 Little Lane.
Daniel X: Watch the Skies by James Patterson and Ned Rust is the sequel to The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, which introduces the character of Daniel X, Alien Hunter. Daniel is an alien himself, brought to earth by his parents, who were charged with hunting down the most dangerous aliens on planet Earth. When he was orphaned, he took over the raising of himself – and the hunting down of the aliens on The List, a super-computer with details of the known whereabouts and activities of the most villainous E.T.s on our planet.
The sequel opens with Daniel looking for Number 5, a gruesome fish-like alien who has decided that the mass extermination of humans would make great footage for his new reality show, beamed to the outer reaches of the galaxy. Daniel is helped in his mission by his four friends, creations of his imagination, and his new girlfriend, Judy Blue-Eyes.
The sequel provided a similar reading experience to the first book in the series. It was a fast, enjoyable read, but I’m not exactly the authors’ target demographic. This series is directly aimed at the tween-aged boy, with gross alien slime, cool weapons, and make-out sessions with gorgeous girls. (Nothing explicit – I let my 11-year-old read these.) And the fact that this series doesn’t try to pretend it’s something it’s not is what makes it perfect for boys like my Noah, who has barely touched a book all summer vacation. (The one major exception being a Ripley’s Believe It or Not annual.) When Daniel X: Watch the Skies arrived in the mail, he took off the dust jacket (he hates those), handed it to me, and immediately sat down to start reading it. Any book that will make my son that excited to read is a precious thing.
Yes, I only gave it three stars (which means I liked it, but didn’t love it). However, I am a 36-year-old mother of four – not a tween or teen-aged boy. My son Noah rates these books both five stars, and considers them among his favorites. If you know any boys at that age, this is the perfect book to hand them to get them excited about reading – or, if they are already an avid reader, to give them a few hours of great entertainment.