I’m a huge Shannon Hale fan. When I saw that she had written some YA science fiction, I was pretty excited. Dangerous surprised me in a lot of ways and was something really different from this author.
This book spans about a year in time and is the story of Maisie who is sent to a space camp that is much more than what it seems. Now, I’m usually a fan of a prologue (The Convergence originally had a prologue–little trivia there), but I think that this book’s prologue led me to a lot of false assumptions. After reading the prologue, I expected the troubles for our main character and the story as a whole to take place in a short period of time. I kept waiting for the craziness to start at camp and was almost disappointed when the excitement didn’t happen until later. I also assumed a more hunger games type of scenario was coming, with the fights between the characters being forced. These skewed expectations kept throwing me off what was actually a great story.
Hale always has fantastic female leads and Maisie didn’t disappoint. She was smart, clever, optimistic, unselfish, and complex. I loved her. I didn’t always love her reactions and actions, but they made sense for the most part. I felt like we really came to know her through the story and see a lot of different sides to her personality.
I also feel like we got to know Wilder and Luther. These were really different and compelling characters. You never knew whether to hate or to like Wilder. I always suspected he knew more than he said, but it was interesting to find out just how much more. I almost wish his secrets had come out a little earlier in the story, that Maisie had been more suspicious and demanding of him. I think this would have made the last big problem and the choice she had to make to battle it more of a focus for a little while longer.
The middle of this book did have a bit of drag, but it really picked up nicely. The ending was great. All of my questions were answered and yet there was still some parts left to my imagination. I particularly liked the love interests at the end, the new dynamic of the relationship that showed how the characters had grown to be more equal and a really good fit for each other. For anyone who likes science fiction with a contemporary feel and an original writing style, this is a good one. Happy reading, my friends!