Wednesday, September 17, 2008

MotherTalk Book Review: The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

Girl Child? Reads absolutely everything she can get her hands on. She reads comic books, she reads novels, she reads the backs of cereal boxes. Every single street sign from here to Eastern North Carolina she has, at some point, read aloud to me.

Boy Child? Not so much.

He struggled with reading at first, but then when he finally got it? He found it boring. Really the only thing he liked to read was cookbooks. Because he likes to cook and also he likes to eat.

Then he became interested in ghost stories. The more gory and bloody the better.

So when I got an opportunity to review The Dangerous Days of Daniel X? I said okay. And then I got the book and the back cover reads:

"They killed my mother and father- and I will hunt them to the ends of the earth"

Well, it sounded like a good book to read with a boy who likes to plot revenge strategies involving angry monkeys trapped in boxes.

And? I was right.

Here's a summary of the plot, from Amazon.
The greatest superpower of all isn't to be part spider, part man, or to cast magic spells--the greatest power is the power to create.
Daniel X has that power.

Daniel's secret abilities -- like being able to manipulate objects and animals with his mind or to recreate himself in any shape he chooses -- have helped him survive. But Daniel doesn't have a normal life. He is the protector of the earth, the Alien Hunter, with a mission beyond what anyone's imagining.

From the day that his parents were brutally murdered before of his very eyes, Daniel has used his unique gifts to hunt down their assassin. Finally, with the help of The List, bequeathed to him in his parents' dying breath, he is closing in on the killer.

Now, on his own, he vows to take on his father's mission--and to take vengeance in the process.

The author is James Patterson, who also wrote the Maximum Ride book I reviewed a while back. The main character in the book, Daniel, is a likable fellow, and the book is written from his point of view. I enjoyed this book more than the Maximum Ride book. It was easier to get lost in this book...I wasn't constantly reminded that I was reading a story by the characters in the book.

I read parts of this book out loud nightly to Boy Child (and Girl Child) and it's for sure a winner. It has action, adventure, aliens, and best of all? Fast-paced action and chapters short enough to keep their attention and long enough to tell a great story. Boy and Girl Child are ten and I felt it was just right for them. It probably isn't a book I would pick for myself, but for my children? Definitely. And MOST definitely for a "reluctant reader" like my Boy Child.

See what other mom's are saying at MotherTalk.


Emma in Canada said...

It sounds like something my son would love, but since his reading level is perhaps Grade 2 I am going to guess it is way out of his league.

Damn dyslexia.

Robyn said...

You can't go wrong with James Patteson, that's for sure! I love all his books and it looks like I'll have to ask hubby for this one now! I hope they enjoy it, it sounds great!!

BandK said...

James Patterson is hands down my absolute most favoritist author. I love every damn thing he's written. That being said, The Maximum Ride books were probably my least favorite.

But that Daniel X book? Is just one weird-ass book. I read the first few pages and I took that damn book back to the library. I'm so glad it got Boy Child interested in reading, but yeech I hated that book. I thought I would never, ever say that about a Patterson book.

I guess I'm just not into aliens.

Breigh (Canadutch) said...

Ok I love a good book recommendation! I'm always on the hunt for something good to read. :)

I've read a few of Patterson's books and liked them. I'm definitely going to pick up this one. Thanks!

Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity said...

Go pick up the 39 Clues: Mystery of Bones for Boy Child (or come enter to win at

I saw it on the today show last week and ordered it and Matthew LOVES it. He liked Daniel X but there was still a chore mentality to read it. Not with The 39 Clues. And there's a mystery to solve online while you're reading (well, not while you're reading but there is an interactive component.)

Adn it's a series of 10 books with one to be released every 90 days, so I can guarantee matthew reading 4 books a year until 2010. :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this book recommendation. I always try to encourage my kids to read, even though I'm not an avid reader myself. Maximum Ride was actually required summer reading for 9th graders here...both of my kids liked it. My son has read all of the Harry Potter books, and my daughter is in love with Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series, but it may be a little bit too adult for your twins.

Stacy said...

I have 3 sons 15,12 & 4. 15 will not read anything but 12 reads like your girl child, everything all of the time. I couldn't figure out how to get 15 to read. You just struck a nerve. He loves to watch scary movies! So why don't I buy him some scary books! Thank you so much for this entry!

CPA Mom said...

I have read like that my whole life. Cereal boxes, etc. I hope my kids do the same.

I like Max Ride better. Can't wait to see what TIgger thinks when he gets old enough to read them. I need to get Max Ride 4.

Tamsyn said...

I don't think James Patterson actually writes all the books which carry his name - he apparently employs an army of ghostwriters to perpetuate his 'brand'. And he's making a fortune out of 'James Patterson Inc', even if other authors tend to grumble about his teams of 'collaborators' which never get credited.

Anyway, I'm glad that you liked the book - whoever wrote it.