Dangerous, by Shannon Hale
I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley. All content and opinions are my own.
I am, admittedly, a bit of a Shannon Hale fangirl. I’ve read most of her books. She’s a local Utahn, and I’ve met her several times. I like her; she’s funny. So, each book of hers that comes out is subject to both fangirl presumptions and extreme expectations. Dangerous, with its turn to science fiction, deftly handled the expectations and presumptions.
Maisie Danger Brown is our heroine. She’s sheltered and cautious and fierce and kind. When she unexpectedly wins a trip to astronaut camp advertised on a cereal box, she’s ready to learn about space and fall in like with a cute rich boy. From there, though, things go askew, starting with a trip to space and some alien technology. Maisie, though, lives up to her middle name, while finding out what kind of person she wants to be and is.
Maisie is very much teen-girl with hormones and emotions raging. But she’s also thoughtful and poetic. At a particularly climatic point, she noted this:
Humans were nothing to the ghosts. We were candy wrappers, apple cores, something they would toss aside. You’d think with all those millennia to grow up, the ghosts wouldn’t be so selfish. Maybe it was the brevity of life that forced humans to mature. Life is precious because it’s finite.
I really enjoyed Dangerous. Though I do not read very much science fiction, I was interested and fascinated by the cool and surprising technology. I don’t want to say too much more about those elements or how they play into the plot, lest I spoil some of the surprises. I raced through, eager to see what would happen. In hindsight, I do wish some of the characters were fleshed out a bit more, but Dangerous moves quickly enough that I hardly noticed. And I appreciated the relative lack of a love triangle and an exploration of like versus love – those two things are all too rare in YA these days.
In all, I think Shannon Hale fans and science fiction fans will like this adventure and this heroine.