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Strange Lands (Heroes of Distant Planets #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Ripped from his wheelchair by a massive flash flood, Allan drags himself through dense forest only to find himself surrounded by strange and ruthless creatures who are not from Earth. Allan can’t run away and has no means to defend himself. Instinct overcomes his terror and his cleverness blossoms, which is all he needs to survive the dark jungles, poisonous plants, Shadic ...more
Paperback, New Titled Edition, 220 pages
Published August 1st 2016 by Synesthesia Books (first published October 28th 2015)
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  35 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Anderson Atlas
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)

Completed on:
Review Rating:
5 stars!
Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Allan Westerfield Off-World: Allan Westerfield Series, Book 1 is a young adult contemporary fantasy written by Anderson Atlas. When Allan qualified for the Nationals and broke his best freestyle record, he felt on top of the world -- that is, until he saw his mother's face. There was neither pride nor excitement in her expression, only a grim
Lora Shouse
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Allan Westerfield is having a very bad day. First of all, his principal informs him, as he is on his way to participate in the state swim meet, that he has failed his latest math test and is not actually eligible to participate in the meet. The principal offers to cover up for him if he beats the school’s arch-rival, but threatens him with expulsion if he fails. Allan wins his race, but his math teacher shows up and refuses to avoid informing the officials. Allan’s win is invalidated, he is not ...more
Melissa Sasina
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teens, middleschool children, adults
***This review was written by my husband. We were asked for an honest review and he read the book. My husband doesn't not have a Goodreads account, so I am posting the review with his permission in his place.***

Specifically a YA book, there is nothing in here that will make you raise an eyebrow knowing your kid read it.

That being said, here's where the star rating comes from.

Characters: are all believable, some are greed driven, some are in it for personal reasons, and others just want to get ba
Valicity Garris
If you give this book a chance you will have just found your new favorite series. Atlas presents us with a one of a kind adventure for adults and children alike. This is riveting and wonderfully original. I really can’t say much except that it is awesome and deserves to be read around the world.

The first note of awesome is the fact that the main character is a paraplegic. Someone who has lost total control of his limbs. So there are two battles this character faces, three if you include the ini
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anderson Atlas’s ‘Surviving the Improbable Quest’ is an adventure alright. But, it is a mystery too and a lot more. It could have been one of sentimentality, considering that it is about regaining what the protagonist has lost. Or it could be about forests in space, and the creatures there.

Coming back to the main focus of this story, who is Allan Westerfield. Allan, a 13 year old boy, is all set to go into the Olympics, when fate strikes a drastic hand. This was at an odd time, when he was gett
Angel Leya
In Strange Lands, Allan has his head in the clouds. He loves swimming, but his grades are slipping. As he goes into a championship meet, he finds out that his grades are bad enough to kick him out of the competition. When his parents find out, they're irate, and spend the ride home lecturing him on the importance of academics. But they don't make it home. A terrible accident kills his parents and leaves Allan without the use of his legs.

His voice also mysteriously disappears, as he works through
Dilsh Wijesinghe
Whoa! I don't know what to say about this book. But my mind says " You must say something about this."

5 STARS ***** rating!

The story was built around the boy who named Allan Westerfield who got paralysis legs and lost his parents after met with a motor crash. After that, he started to live with his uncle RUBIC. Allan & Rubic met with another accident when they went to fishing. He was suddenly vanished from Earth to another world en route to find someone to get some help to his uncle whose
Literary Classics Book Awards & Reviews
Thirteen year old Allan was an incredibly talented swimmer. Unfortunately though, he was far less ambitious as a student. His mom and dad had pretty lofty expectations for him. But none of that matters any more because a tragic accident has taken the lives of Allan’s parents, along with the use of his legs. Now he’s a paraplegic. With his parents gone, and his dreams of being an Olympian shattered, severe depression renders him speechless.

While on a fishing trip with his uncle, Allan experiences
Sarah Wilson
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from the author of this book in exchange for an honest review. When I was contacted about this book I was extremely intrigued by its premise: a young boy in a wheelchair is taken to another land and has to survive in order to get back. And it didn't disappoint as a middle grade novel. I read through this book in just one sitting as it was such a quick, enjoyable read.

The book was exciting and fast-paced, and I loved the cast of characters that came into the book, e
Little Bee
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

I received a copy of Strange Lands in exchange for an honest review.

Allan is in the 8th grade when he is in a terrible car accident that killed both of his parents and left him wheel chair bound. His uncle, Rubic, comes to take care of him, but Allan struggles to get through the loss of not only his parents, but his ability to move. As such, he feels extremely helpless and useless.

One day, Rubic decides to take them camping because he believes fre
Jessica Bronder
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Allan Westerfield’s day goes from bad to worse when the principal tells him that his math score disqualifies him from competing in the state swim meet but if Allan wins he will not say anything. Then Allan wins the swim meet yet his math teacher explains how he can’t compete and Allan is disqualified. On the way home, Allan’s parents are clearly upset with him. They are arguing when they are in a car accident. Allan wakes up to learn that his parents died in the accident and he is now a parapleg ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I received a copy of this book in return for a review.

This book is well-suited for middle grade readers. It has a lot of action perfect for those aged 9-12, but is lacking in real depth that would appeal to older readers. It reminds me of "I Am Number Four" by Pittacus Lore in that it was written in such an action-driven way as if a movie was playing in the author's mind, and it is described well enough that I could visually imagine the weird places and creatures. I liked the twist at the end, t
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Atlas, Anderson Strange Lands, 231 pages. Synthesia Books, 2016. $12.99. Language:G (0 swear, 0 “f”); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.

Allan loves to swim but has too low grades to stay on his school swim team. He wins the swimming championship for his school, but he wasn’t supposed to compete they have to forfeit.. On the way home with his fuming, embarrassed parents, they get in a horrible car crash that will shape the rest of his life sending him on an adventure literally out of this world.

I l
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

An imaginative uplifting story for anyone who loves fantasy and characters who overcome the odds.
Allan has a poor lot in life, living with his head in the clouds dreaming of adventure until a car accident. The accident leaves him without parents, the use of his legs, and a fear of the outside world. Through the story he enters another world and begins his healing process. Overcoming all of the odds to get home.
I enjoyed this read and the obstacles Allan has thrown at him. The addition
Kid Book Reviewer
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thoughts: I loved this book because it was amazingly creative. I loved how the author, Anderson Atlas, created a situation that forced the main character into many schemes in this book. I also loved how he created so many incredible characters that all are different but all connect in the end. Another thing I loved about Strange Lands is that its story line is like a bunch of tree branches all over the place, but the branches all are connected to the same trunk. Overall, I loved this amazing and ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I believe this book be enjoyed more by a younger reader. While it was entertaining it threw too many twists at the very end of the book. I would prefer that the twists were dragged out a bit to build up the anticipation. It was written in the third person and I personally have a hard time connecting with the characters in that way. But it was definitely different from other books and that was refreshing. Overall a good book for youths.
Rachel Anne
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a very enjoyable read. The first sentence had me hooked and I had to keep turning pages to see what would happen next! It would be the perfect book for anybody looking for a fast-paced thrilling adventure.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it

A paraplegic main character with spunk (if you can call boys spunky). Mr. Atlas, keep writing and I'll keep reading.
Marilyn Ostermiller
Strange Lands: Heroes of a Distance Planet (Book 1) grabbed me from the first page and wouldn't let go. Allan is a champion high school swimmer seemingly with everything going for him. But when he is kicked off the team for academic failure, his life enters free-fall. His legs are crushed in a car accident that kills his parents and he is transported to another planet where he is forced to fight for his life. The creatures he meets and defeats in his struggle to get back to planet earth make for ...more
Lorca Damon
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's a serious problem in middle grade fiction, or at least the fiction that is made available to students under the guise of teaching them something. It tends to be watered down or outdated or otherwise out of reach. The readability (in terms of a Fry Readability Formula) too often equates easy to read with "boring," as if we can't take a lower level vocabulary and make it interesting or exciting. The flip side is that books with a higher interest level and greater adventure reach tend to ha ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think this would be an excellent read for a teen. Especially one struggling with feeling useless due to disability or otherwise. Allen was just an average boy, with a significant amount of empathy. He loved being on the swim team at his prestigious school, but his grades were slipping. Allen's parents seem a bit overbearing, almost unlikeable at the start, but as it goes on there are moments that assure you they were still loving and supportive. Likewise with his uncle later on. As a parent, I ...more
rated it it was ok
Mar 04, 2017
Danny E.
rated it really liked it
Jan 09, 2016
rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2016
Gigi Sedlmayer
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have to say, that i love more and more middle grade books.
It wasn't different with that one. Yes, it was one of them.
I really enjoyed it, being swept away with Allan into the strange land
and seeing and experience all the different creatures, plants and land.

Since Allan was crippled after an accident and his parents were killed, he lived with Rubic. They got along fine, but Allan had his sorrows.
But going through that strange land, he learned to forgive and to be more polite and accept things,
rated it really liked it
Jun 14, 2018
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have found myself reviewing a lot of middle-grade books lately. Which is a good thing because I have two children that are within the age range and I am always on the lookout for books that they would like. After reading Strange Lands, I think this would be a book that my 10-year-old son would like.

The plot itself is pretty straightforward. Allan, a boy in 8th grade, was in a horrific car accident that not only paralyzed him but took the lives of his parents. What made the accident even more t
Amber Rose (Rose Reviews)
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
**I received a copy of this book from the author for reviewing purposes.**

A fun, entertaining read. This was made for a younger audience but I think people of any age would enjoy it if you like sci-fi adventures.
rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2015
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I live in the hot Sonoran Desert among scaled survivors, steely eye hawks and majestic saguaros.

I'm inspired by crowded malls, streams that barely trickle, patches of moss, charred forests, and distant mountain ranges. The clacking of keys can be heard throughout my home late at night and I'm always writing. Scratching of pens, pencils and paintbrushes are also some of my favorite of tools.

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