Book Review: The Planet Thieves

The Planet Thieves by Dan Krokos. 9780765334282. May 2013. Gr. 4-6.

I am quickly becoming a Dan Krokos fan.  Recently, I posted here about his first novel for teens, False Memory.  I felt that False Memory was an inventive and entertaining debut for Krokos, and the second in that series, False Sight, comes out in August and is currently on my extensive “To-Read” list.  Now, Krokos has come out with a middle-grade science fiction title called The Planet Thieves, and based on his other work, I felt I should check it out.

It is the year 2800, and Mason Stark is a 13-year old cadet in the Earth Space Command.  Along with his friends and fellow cadets, he is aboard the largest and most powerful spaceship in the fleet, the SS Egypt. While playing a practical joke on his older sister in the cabin of the ship, there is a red alert, and they find that they are under attack by the Tremist, an alien race that has been at war with humans for many years.  The Tremist are hated by all, but especially Mason, as they are responsible for killing his parents, who were also officers in the ESC.

As Tremist soldiers overtake and board the SS Egypt, it falls on Mason and his fellow cadets to assume responsibility of the entire ship and try and fend off the aliens.  But it soon becomes apparent that the Tremists are looking for something on the ship, and keeping them from finding it may save all of humanity.

The Planet Thieves has some stylistic similarities to False Memory; Krokos knows how to write an enticing, fast-paced thriller.  He deftly builds the drama in the short chapters, and many chapter endings leave the reader with a cliffhanger ending, just begging you to continue on. The Planet Thieves is a fun read, and if you are looking for something for middle-grade science fiction fans, look no further.

Check out the impressive book trailer for The Planet Thieves below:

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