A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Galaxy’s Most Wanted 2: Into the Dorkness is the fun and action-packed second book in a series about tweens at an Oregon summer science camp who inadvertently create an invention that attracts evil aliens to their remote wilderness. Whereas the first book dealt heavily with how the four protagonists competed and interacted with their fellow campers, all the while trying to hide the discovery of an alien spacecraft (and its inhabitants) from the other kids and counselors, this one's entirely about how the ingenious tweens band together to defeat the space creatures and their reptile-like army, who are bent on enslaving the entire human race. There's cartoon violence involving zapping rays and large, mosquito-like robots who inject a serum into people to turn them into zombie-like slaves, but nothing graphic or scary. There also are literal cartoons: The book is lavishly illustrated throughout with Nick Edwards' comics-style depictions of all the action, an added bonus for reluctant readers (and a treat for everyone else). Author John Kloepfer is the man behind the blockbuster Zombie Chasers series, too, so he obviously knows the tween audience well. He also knows how to leave readers wanting more -- to be delivered in Galaxy’s Most Wanted 3.
What's the story?
Evil aliens bent on conquering Earth have landed in the woods of Oregon, and the only thing keeping them from world domination and enslaving the human race may be four brave tweens at a science camp. Picking up right where the original Galaxy’s Most Wanted book left off, our four admittedly nerdy tween protagonists are frantically dealing with the consequences of having inadvertently attracted the aliens to the planet through an invention they created at their camp. Now, with the help of a miniaturized (good) alien robot named Klyk, they must outwit and defeat alien leaders Zouric and Nuzz, their reptilian army (known as Kamilions), and a new threat: swarms of hummingbird-size alien mosquito-robots whose bite turns humans into pliant slaves. In fact, that’s precisely what has already happened to the entire girls' soccer camp across the lake. But the aliens don't know what they're up against when Kevin Brewer and his pals put their heads together to try to figure out a way to send their galactic foes back to distant nebulae. If they could just hijack the alien spaceship for a while …
Is it any good?
As with the first book in the series, Into the Dorkness is fast-paced, funny, and cleverly written. Author John Kloepfer never lets up on the action and doesn't let the improbability of any plot point or crazy invention deter him from moving the story forward at a breakneck pace. There are a couple of nice twists, including one involving the mysterious creator of a sci-fi comic book that's suspiciously prescient about events in the story, and the pseudo-science is always a hoot.
The four heroes (including strong girl Tara) all are distinctive and appealing in different ways, and the author again demonstrates a wonderful ear for the way kids talk and relate to each other. As in the first book, this one ends on a cliffhanger, though it has a more satisfying conclusion.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether this sequel is as good as the first Galaxy's Most Wanted book. What do you think might happen in the next one?
Do you have any ideas for crazy inventions that could help the human race battle an alien invasion?
Which of your friends would you trust to help you out in scary situations such as the ones in the book?
- Author: John Kloepfer
- Illustrator: Nick Edwards
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Science and Nature, Space and Aliens
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
- Publication date: May 13, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 256
- Available on: Paperback, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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