Maisie Brown has lived a quiet life. She has scientist (read: introverted) parents and is happily homeschooled in her community just outside of Salt Lake City. But she has a secret dream: she wants to be an astronaut. She doesn’t think this will happen; she’s missing one of her arms, after all. But her middle name is Danger (literally) and when she gets an opportunity to enter a contest to win a week at a space camp in Houston, she goes for it.
And gets in.
She arrives at the camp — run by billionaire genius Bonnie Howell, who built the first elevator into space — not knowing that this week will change her life. That she’ll meet the Boy of her Dreams (who’s more than a bit of a jerk). That she’ll meet friends and watch them die. That she’ll become truly Dangerous.
In many ways, this was a breath of fresh air. One gets bogged down in the current trends in young adult/teen literature and to have something that is honestly science fiction with high-tech gadgets, spaceships, and alien lifeforms is great. I really enjoyed Maisie as a character as well. She’s Latina (her mother’s from Paraguay), she’s smart, she’s confident, she’s disabled and she doesn’t let it get in her way. (In fact, at one point, she makes herself a pretty cool robotic arm.) And Shannon Hale does a good job incorporating most of the various elements she throws at us. The “fireteam” is a hodgepodge mix of races and cultures, but none of them seem like stereotypes and there ends up being a reason for it in the end. And although the love triangle was pretty silly, I did like that the love interest wasn’t love at first sight.
As she’s shown before, Hale does know how to spin a tale. And I was kept guessing about whom to trust and the ulterior motives. All of which means Dangerousis definitely worth picking up.
Rated: Moderate for intense action, including some gruesome deaths. But there’s no language (it’s all “bleeped” out) and no sex.