Review: The Planet Thieves by Dan Krokos

Book Review: The Planet Thieves by Dan Krokos
Review: The Planet Thieves by Dan Krokos

The Planet Thieves

Written by Dan Krokos
Illustrated by Antonio Javier Caparo
(Starscape - 5/21/2013)
Series: The Planet Thieves #1
Genres: Middle Grade, Science Fiction
Format: Hardcover (256 pages)
Source: Library of Magan Bagan
Rating: 4 Stars

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Two weeks ago, thirteen-year-old Mason Stark and seventeen of his fellow cadets from the Academy for Earth Space Command boarded the SS Egypt. The trip was supposed to be a short routine voyage to log their required spacetime for summer quarter.

But routine goes out the airlock when they’re attacked by the Tremist, an alien race who have been at war with humanity for the last sixty years.

With the captain and crew dead, injured, or taken prisoner, Mason and the cadets are all that’s left to warn the ESC. And soon they find out exactly why the Tremist chose this ship to attack: the Egypt is carrying a weapon that could change the war forever.

Now Mason will have to lead the cadets in a daring assault to take back the ship, rescue the survivors, and recover the weapon. Before there isn’t a war left to fight.

My Thoughts

When I first heard about this book, I was excited because it sounded like Star Trek for YA/MG readers (and we all know how much I love Star Trek)! So when I finally got the chance to read The Planet Thieves, oh my gosh, I was ecstatic! I only got to read a small chunk in my first sitting, but I was already impressed. I’m pretty sure I was bouncing as I exclaimed with glee to my husband: “It’s like Star Trek! It’s so cool!” And the further I got into the book, the more I fell in love with it.

Here are some of the many reasons that The Planet Thieves rocked:

  • (Ahem) It’s like Star Trek! They are traveling on a space ship and encounter alien beings and all kinds of mayhem ensues.
  • It has illustrations in it! Yes, I was very happily surprised to see some sketches interspersed throughout the book. There’s only a handful, but I found them to be great for helping me visualize some of the creatures and technologies in the book.
  • There is action and tension from beginning to end. I think it’s clear to me now that Dan Krokos is great at filling hist stories with intensity, and keeping me glued to the pages.
  • The main character was believable and interesting. He had his idiot moments, but he also had some moments of wisdom and bravery that really spoke well for him.
  • The enemies were both terrifying and awesomely cool! I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t elaborate, but they were great!
  • All of the science fiction / technology elements really got me excited. It all felt so… real! So believable, even if some of the technologies were pretty fantastic. Just like Star Trek, they had me wishing this universe was real (well, some parts of it).
  • This did not read like a middle grade novel. Not that this isn’t accessible for young readers, because it totally is. What I’m trying to say is, don’t shy away from this just because it’s MG – it’s definitely enjoyable for adult readers!

Though I did find some parts to be extremely predictable, that did not dampen my enjoyment of the book. I was thoroughly intrigued from beginning to end, and I really wish there had been more of it. I am now eagerly anticipating the sequel. This book has basically turned me from a Dan Krokos reader into a Dan Krokos fan!

Read 23 comments

  1. Ha! I love your enthusiasm in this review, especially for Star Trek! Now uhm.. if someone isn’t a huge fan of Star Trek, there’s still a good chance they will love this as well, right? I love sci fi so I can’t see why I wouldn’t, and I like that this doesn’t read as a MG novel, but something about Star Trek puts me off. (I know, I know. Can we still be friends?!)

  2. Hm I’ve heard so many good things about Dan Krokos’s writing now. I think I’ll have to cave and put one of his books on my TBR. If you were going to make a recommendation for a first time read by him would you pick this one over False Memory? You definitely seem way more excited about it. :) I’m mainly concerned with the same thing as Asti. I never could get into Star Trek, so do you think I could still enjoy this novel? To be fair I haven’t given it much of a shot in my adult life, and am willing to remedy that. I do seem to love sci fi way more than I thought I did.

    • Gosh, I’m telling you, for the longest time I was turned off my Star Trek too. I think it just had to hit me at the right time, and now I can’t get enough of it! You don’t have to be a Star Trek fan to like The Planet Thieves, though. This book is so much fun!

      Hmmm, not sure which one I’d recommend you to read first, though. I think it depends on your mood, maybe. The Planet Thieves is a space adventure and False Memory is a bit more mature, more sci-fi thriller-ish.

          • With Star Trek, that doesn’t really matter. At least for the different series; no need to watch the Original series before The NExt Generation, before Voyager, etc. Although watching the episodes in order is nice, one of the great things about Star Trek is that there are so many interesting episodes, you can just pick and choose. ;D

          • Oh good, so my chronological OCDness will be satisfied just by watching all the episodes in order. :D It’s just easier to keep track of what I’ve seen that way. I’m almost done with The West Wing on Netflix (been watching it since last year); I think just one more season left, and things are getting a little nutso. As soon as I’m done with that, I’ll get to Voyager! I may read six different books at once but for some reason I can’t make myself watch more than one television series at once when I’m going through an archive (the same with blogs, really).

  3. I absolutely adored Dan Krokos’ ‘False Memory’, so I’m definitely interested in reading anything else he has to offer! :) I particularly like middle grade novels that include illustrations that compliment the text (‘Juniper Berry’ is likely the most recent example I can think of for this) so I was very excited to hear this book included sketches.

    I will *definitely* be keeping my eye out for this one the next time I’m at the bookstore. Great review, Kelley!

  4. I’m always looking for a good MG novel! And while I am not exactly a fan of Star Trek (mostly because I haven’t exactly watched the movies *ashamed*), I did love Star Trek: Intro Darkness. So, maybe I will be as in love with this as you are :D Also, I’m totally okay with characters having idiot moments, ’cause I have them all the time. My parents say I’m like a butterfly XD

  5. Pingback: Oh, the Books! Bookish Guides: Illustrated YA | Oh, the Books!

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