I am a huge fan of James Patterson so it kills me to write this review. I picked up The Dangerous Days of Daniel X at a used book sale and didn’t even think twice about it. I have done that many times before. I see a book with his name on it and I just grab it. It never failed me…..until yesterday that is.
It’s the type of book that is written for the same age group as the children who read Harry Potter. The main problem was that I never felt dumb while reading Harry Potter. It’s the type of series that can virtually be read by anyone of any age. The Dangerous Days of Daniel X cannot.
It felt like something better suited for even younger children. I double-checked on Amazon to make sure it was written for older kids and, sure enough, it was.
I’m going to try and keep this review short.
The story did not make me connect with the characters AT ALL. And you would expect some sort of connection or sympathy since it’s about a boy whose parents are murdered when he’s only 3 years old.
Daniel X is the son of alien hunters who are killed by an alien that looks like a giant praying mantis. Even as a child, he has extraordinary abilities. What really was a buzzkill for me was that he had just about every power imaginable.
These were my thoughts while reading the first few chapters:
“Oh he’s only 3 years old but can already shapeshift into insects. Oh AND he has intellectual abilities even way above Einstein. AND he raised himself from the age of 3 and became an alien hunter at 13. AND he can create live human beings out of memory complete with dialogue. AND he’s incredibly fast. So fast he can catch birds flying in midair. AND he is so strong he can flip cars. AND he’s knows what’s going to happen before it happens”.
Catch my drift? It was hard to connect with him because it’s as if every time he was faced with some sort of obstacle he’d say, “I have a super power for that”.
It made me wonder how on earth children were supposed to relate to the character at all. This flawless, super smart, super fast, super strong humanoid/alien/whatever he is has no responsibilties. Doesn’t need to go to school or answer to anyone. Ugh ok, that’s enough.
I rated it 2 stars because it wasn’t the WORST book I’ve ever read but considering I usually give out 4 or 5 stars just shows how bad it was. I will continue reading James Patterson’s books but I’ll be a little more cautious before buying. He tried. I’ll give him that. However, I think his strength lies in writing thrillers (with the exception of Maximum Ride); not whatever this was.