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A Problematic Paradox

(Nikola Kross #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  287 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Nikola Kross has given up on living in harmony with classmates and exasperated teachers: she prefers dabbling in experimental chemistry to fitting in. But when her life is axially inverted by a gang of extraterrestrials who kidnap her dad and attempt to recruit her into their service, she discovers he's been keeping a world of secrets from her--including the school for gen ...more
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published January 23rd 2018 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  287 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Holy cow, this book was AMAZING!! So much wit and fun and crazy gadgets... and the enemies... oh just wait. I can't spoil it. Nikola is one of my favorite protagonists ever. Super-smart and knows it, totally cool and confident...

I promise, even the adults will find TONS to love about this book. It's like when you watch a really well-written animated film and half the jokes are written for the adults, but written in such a way that the kids think they got it. I can't wait to see where it goes.

Sean Randall
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Warner started tapping out some rude commentary, and before long, the three of us were having a rather hilarious argument that sounded a lot like sitting inside a car during a hailstorm."

From the synopsis of this, I asked if it could be the next Randoms, the fantastic first kids book by David Liss. Whilst falling into a different bracket, and perhaps having more strangeness and less of the contemporary tropes, this still really rocked. A bit younger, mentally, than some others in the class, but
Ms. Yingling
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
ARC provided by the publisher and reviewed at Young Adult Books Central

Nikola Kross is a bit of a social outcast, and her guidance conselour (whom she calls "Ms. Hiccup") advises her to try to make herself less of a target. That's hard for Nikola to do, considering that her mother went missing when she was very young, and her father is an eccentric scientific inventor who has set up two mobile homes inside an abandoned SuperMart in North Dakota for the two to live in. When she is accosted on the
Sci-Fi & Scary
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley free for review consideration. It does not affect my review.

A Problematic Paradox was a fantastic read, when it wasn’t making me irritated. So mostly, yeah, it was awesome. However, there were a few key points where what I thought was funny and what the author thought was funny diverged so much that it left an unpleasant taste in my mouth. And, unfortunately, it only takes a couple of those occurring before your whole experience of the bo
Ilsen Leon
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
2 stars

I am really disappointed with this one. I thought it had a great concept but the pacing was so clunky, the writing style was weird, and the author trying too hard to make commentary that just came off as “Yikes” RTC
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great fun! I would love to see a sequel.....! Full review coming soon in Library Media Connection.
Elizabeth Anne Andrews
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
a really cool and interesting fantasy about a girl whose dad gets abducted by aliens
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this book for several reasons: One, it's the type of sci-fi that makes you literally space out of reality (which I truly needed these days). Two, it's a children's book, so if it's a good one (which it was), then it's fun. Although I'm almost 18, I like reading children's books because they're so different from adult books, they don't contain the cliche and drama, and they're made for a child's mind, a mind that has simple to no worries, and that's mostly innocent. The novel was seriousl ...more
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
When your dad's secrets catch up to him and he ends up kidnapped, and you find yourself at a boarding school with other geniuses (courtesy of his back-up plan, which he also kept a secret), what do you do? In this case, make the best of things -- find friends for the first time, discover the joys of learning, miss and worry about the lost father, and oh yeah, confront the evil alien at the root of your problems. The protagonist has a snarky, fun voice and combines wit and luck with great energy. ...more
Becky B
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Nikola's father is kidnapped from their warehouse/laboratory/home by the aliens who tried to get her to go with them from the school playground, she activates the emergency protocol and suddenly finds herself whizzed off to a school she's never heard of in the middle of nowhere Iowa. And not just any school. It's a school for extremely genius humans and parahumans so they can grow in knowledge and be in a place safe from the Old Ones (the aliens who grabbed her dad). With her dad gone and n ...more
I'm not exaggerating when I say that Nikola Kross is a genius. She's 13, but she's already an accomplished scientist. The only problem? Being extremely smart makes it very difficult to make friends. She's shunned at school for being the "weird girl," and even her guidance counselor suggests that Nikola try to blend in with the rest of her peers rather than being herself.

After an unsettling encounter in a park with some very strange-looking bullies, Nikola comes home to find out that her dad has
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
this book is definitely one of a kind and I loved the bean/wormhole scene
Mark Buxton
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
My name is Nikola Kross, and circumstances have dumped me straight into a war pitting humans and parahumans against the Old Ones. My father has been taken prisoner by the ancient creatures, and I now find myself in an advanced, secret school for geniuses. The school is in the middle of nowhere and is guarded inside a dimensional dome by thousands of robotic bees. Teachers and other students don't understand my natural ability to manipulate quantum agar, but many people would have been killed wit ...more
Anita McDivitt Barrios
Brainy Girl Favorite! This one is a fantastical romp through recent scientific developments as well as the MC's attempts to avoid being kidnapped, killed and tortured by an "Old One."

The MC is a brainy girl, daughter of an equally brainy if ecclectic dad, who flees Old One kidnappers and ends up at the Plaskington International Laboratory School, where her brains are ...par for the course. She's safe, so long as the Old Ones can't breach a barrier that's been in place for 50 years. Can you figur
Lisa Lewis
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm not usually a fan of aliens and sci-fi, but this story hooked me from the first page! I love Nikola Kross and her spunky snarky attitude. She doesn't quite fit in at her middle school, being a genius and all. Then her dad is kidnapped and she is next. Nikola escapes and ends up at The School (for humans and not). It has hi-tech, wormholes, and a crazy intelligent student body. She works hard at school, at finally making friends, at trying to find her father, and trying to stay alive.
A Proble
Melissa Olson
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing

I think that this is the perfect book for all the science fiction readers. I found that this book has great reviews. I think it is also very cool that it empowers young women scientists. The reviews state that this is a perfect book of comedy and a higher level of thinking. I think it would be interesting to read this book to see if it hooks me. I am personally not big on sci-fi books, however, a lot of the reviews say that the readers felt the same and they all love
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Problematic Paradox was engaging, entertaining, and extremely fast-paced! I enjoyed the story over-all, but did feel that it jumped from one life-threatening moment to the next without much in-between. This pace would normally bother me, but I felt as though Sappingfield still managed to flesh out characters who were interesting and endearing (Hypatia was my favorite!)

This quick read will appeal to many of my middle grade readers- especially those who are beginning the transition to texts with
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars rounded down to 4. Really good fantasy - science fiction book. Nikola was a spunky and tough main character who was impossible not to like. She was a genius among geniuses and had to carve out a new life for herself among them. It seems that this book must be the first in a series as the key plot line was unresolved. I look forward to reading more about Nikola, her friends, and the unusual community in which she lives. Also, an honorable mention to Hypatia who was great!
Christian Adams
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a great book overall. The ideas and concepts of the book were science based, but not driven over the point. The storyline is somewhat unblanced. This being there was a short introduction to the characters and what was happening. Most of the book was leading up to the climax, which was quite short. This was a fun read for me, and glad I could enjoy this shorter story. (This book is not in a a series)
Munro's Kids
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun and snarky sci-fi romp with extraterrestrials (some good, some bad), a school for super smart students, and a huge variety of wacky, dangerous devices. It does leave an open ending, so I imagine there will be more Nicola Kross adventures (hopefully they're just as fun as this one!).
- Emilee
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, sci-fi, j
Fun. A girl who knows she doesn't fit in and has no angst about it. So she tells the guidance counselor. But that's at her old school. before she was sent to this new school to escape the aliens who abducted her father. A school for geniuses who don't necessarily have to be human. What could go wrong? ...more
Alice Kuhn
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thirteen-year-old Nikola Kross's world is turned upside down when her father is abducted by aliens and she is suddenly transported to a special boarding school for geniuses, but things get even stranger when she realizes she has certain abilities that put her entire school in grave danger (from cip record).
Interesting concept, loved the strong characters.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked A Problematic Paradox. I thought some of the moments in the classes were hilarious. Actually, many points in this book were funny. However, I thought the middle dragged on a little too long and only half of the problems ended up resolved.
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I really enjoyed reading this book. It had some fascinating ideas for sci-fi devices/substances. I also loved the mystery mixed into the plot. The one thing I didn't like was the language. Some might consider it mild, but for a children's book I found it excessive. ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! I love the school and the other students. How many times have I wondered why some character with an ability doesn't use it in a practical way! Here is a book whose inhabitants use their abilities. Wow! ...more
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This one is going to need to be handed to just the right reader...that being said, I loved it. Sarcastic, witty and utterly's Hitchhiker's Guide-esque for the middle school student. Give this to your snarkiest tweens and teens who aren't afraid to embrace their geeky side. ...more
Mary Beth
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-lit
Fun sci-fi with a strong female protagonist. Recommended reading for all, but a breath of fresh air for girls who might be inclined to be interested in science fiction but who aren't interested in a boy/male POV. ...more
Samantha Clark
What a fun book. I loved all the inventions and fun ideas for the genius school. Think Hogwarts with science instead of magic.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2017, middle-years
An insanely fun, snarky, zany, scienced-out Harry Potter!

"...when you stop looking for the worst in people, *that's when you see the good stuff.*" -p44
Marg Corjay
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Original story line, creative style, geeky kids/aliens that can be related to. Fast-paced, lots of action. Hope to read more from this new author.
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Eliot Sappingfield was last seen wearing a blue shirt and khaki pants in the vicinity of his home in Missouri. He is known to appreciate stories, science, and various other geeky things. He may or may not be accompanied by his wife, his two daughters (when they don’t have anything better to do), or a goofy basset hound. He is considered unarmed and not terribly dangerous.

His first novel, "A Probl

Other books in the series

Nikola Kross (2 books)
  • The Unspeakable Unknown

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