Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief by D.M. Jarrett

Review: Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief by D.M. Jarrett
Synopsis (from Goodreads) An action, adventure, quest story; with spies, aliens, commandos and some comedy.

The first exciting episode in the Sean Yeager Adventures book series of six books. An adventure with science fiction and comedy set in a near real world. SYA is a family friendly saga that is age appropriate from 7 to 70. Written for intermediate readers and upwards, younger readers (7 to 8) may not understand all the nuances but will be able to enjoy the story. Older readers (11+) will understand the sub-plots and nuances better. (similar genre works: Star Wars, James Bond, Artemis Fowl, Hitchhikers Guide) Sean comes home to find his belongings have been stolen through a giant hole in his bedroom wall. He is invited to pursue the burglar by Foundation Agents who are assigned to protect him. Not knowing why he is protected or how his father's disappearance is linked to The Foundation, Sean joins Major Clavity and Agent Rusham on a hair-raising pursuit of Von Krankhausen. He experiences flying cars, invisible attack ships and the power of The Foundation and its enemies. The story is told by a spy-robot who is reporting back to its home world and Deijan Klesus who is monitoring the situation on Earth.

In full disclosure I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you to the author for this opportunity and a big thank you for signing the book as well.

There is a lot of attempted humour in this book, and for me almost all of it fell flat. The characters often make “cheesy” one-liners and personally I didn’t find them funny. Because there was a lot of this throughout the book, I find it hard to really enjoy it.

I also had a problem with the pacing. It moved along very fast, going from one fast-pace action sequence to the next with no pauses for a rest. This caused a number of problems. Firstly, because it is all action, the characters are never really explored in depth and we never really get to know what they are really like, in the way slower more personal scenes would allow. Secondly, in a similar fashion, the story itself lacks depth and sophistication. Thirdly, we are given very little background on the characters and the groups. This hurts because it makes it hard to understand their motives and also made me feel less connected to them

Because it is all action, I also found myself suffering from “battle-fatigue,” where I began to get tired of all the action and it became boring.

Having said that some of the sequences were interesting and exciting, and there was enough there to keep me reading.

The characters were good, they were nothing special but also they were not badly written or annoying. The characters are never really developed, and are pretty much the same as when the started out.

The characters also put Sean Yeager, a child whom they are supposed to be protecting, in constant and increasing danger. There was never any reason given to why he had to go, and considering we are told it was important to keep him alive, it really didn’t make sense why they kept putting him in very dangerous and unpredictable situations.

There was a minor issue with the alignment with the page breaks, in this case a series of asterisks between paragraphs, which are used to signify a change of scene. In this edition they were all left aligned instead of the typical center alignment. It was a little distracting and gave the impression of a book that hadn’t had a final tidying up.

I think this book is probably aimed at the younger end of the middle-grade audience, where perhaps they wouldn’t have the same complaints that I had with this book.

Overall I thought this book was okay. I thought it was hurt by the almost constant action without the juxtaposition of slower more thoughtful scenes that would give the characters and story more depth, background and development. The action also gets tiring and boring after a while. For me the humour fell flat and that hurt the book for me as well. I would think this book would be aimed at the younger end of the middle-grade audience (8-10 year olds)

 Rating (3 stars)

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