Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: The Paradise Trap

The Paradise Trap
By Catherine Jinks
Expected publication April 24, 2012 by EgmontUSA

The vacation that his mom planned is not at all the vacation that Marcus gets thanks to a used trailer they buy that turns out to have a very evil past.

I've heard of Jinks' books before but never picked one up, though I have a couple of them on my to-read list. Her books seem to always be well-received, as they are often quite funny. So, that's basically what I expected when I started this one - a funny, sci-fi story. However, for me, this book was a little all over the place. It's very fast-paced and frenetic, to the point that it almost feels disorganized - a lot of information is thrown at us very quickly and readers are simply supposed to go along for the ride. I can imagine this works well for many kids, but as an older reader, I found it a bit disconcerting. Additionally, I didn't find anything all that funny, though, once again, I imagine there is quite a bit here that kids will laugh at. This is certainly an adventure story, but there are a few too many elements thrown in - a little of Greek mythology, a little of evil technology, and a little madcap family hijinks. There is a serious lack of characterization - though I mentioned that a lot of information is thrown at us at once, we never really get to know the characters all that well. As a result, I never really got all that invested in the story and, if it didn't have such short, readable chapters, I might have given up on it. The book is very readable - it's over 400 pages but they really fly by. I can see this appealing to kids looking for a different science fiction story, but it just wasn't a book I really enjoyed.

Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.

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