Breanne's Reviews > The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson
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's review
Aug 23, 08

it was ok
bookshelves: sci-fi
Read in August, 2008

Here is my nice review for our library's blog:

Daniel was born with the power to create. His abilities include being able to manipulate objects and animals with his mind and to re-create himself in any shape he chooses. His mission: he is an Alien Hunter. From the day that his parents were murdered before him, he has used his unique gifts to hunt down villainous aliens on earth until he can close in on their killer.

This book combines the humorous quips of Spiderman with the repellant bad-guy aliens of Men In Black. It will probably appeal most to young adult guys, and the short chapters (each one was 2-3 pages) make it a quick read.

Here is the truth:

The 2 page chapters gave me imaginary ulcers. It was such a disconnecting, disjointed way to put a book together. Is he trying to cater to today's short attention span? Aren't books supposed to be combating short attention spans? He would cut off the action right in the middle of a scene and start again in a new chapter. WHY. I tried to think of some reasons: It's supposed to be a Young Adult book. It caters directly to boys (who supposedly read less?). Ok, I can see how you're trying for that. But is this really what we have to do to get our children to read? I am depressed about our future.

As a librarian, really, I should be okay with any efforts to get people to read. Anything we can do to draw people in to read is a good thing, right? So should I be ok with this on principle?

Steve Jobs, who you hope would be knowledgeable of general public interests, recently said in an interview about Amazon's Kindle, "It doesn't matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don't read anymore." Another reason for depression, I think. People still read. To think otherwise, as the heated response to Jobs' comment has shown, is erroneous. Do we really need to chop down every chapter in a young adult book just to draw someone in, to make it easier for their fragile attention spans to handle?

I don't think so. As my own personal response, I hated it. There were 92 chapters in this 238 page book (I will save you getting out your calculator: it's an average of 2.6 pages per chapter). Aside from that, there were some other obnoxious elements. His quips weren't charming, and got old very quickly. The aliens were grotesque for the sake of being grotesque. Cliche developments ("kidnapped children! oh no!"). And the reader sees things coming dozens of chapters before Daniel did.

The good stuff: his powers were pretty cool. And the opening scene was pretty cool. And some character development toward the end of the book was interesting. And that's about it.

So sorry, James Patterson. I promise to read more of your books so that I don't form an opinion of your work based on this one.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara Have you read the Maximum Ride books? They're pretty good, until the fourth and fifth ones when basically Patterson goes on an environmental message rampage and butchers the series, which is sad because it had such potential. (But that's just my opinion).

One of my friends told me that


The alien gets killed because Daniel turns into a flea, crawls inside the things ear, and then turns to an elephant and so the thing explodes. I just...THAT is how the thing gets killed? And what's up with the evilest alien being called 'The Prayer'?

Breanne I haven't read the Maximum Ride books, but I'll make sure to stop after number three!

Yeah the ending you just sort of have to swallow with the rest of the book, but by the time you get there it's actually just another weird aspect of the book. I can't remember the name of the alien, but I thought it was something other than The Prayer. I'll have to check later

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