A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there is a lot of action violence in this book, with several instances of gory imagery. The main character's life is in danger throughout the book and his father has disappeared. A super-intelligent dinosaur kidnaps the main character, kills people and animals, and destroys buildings. The dinosaur and the main character are constantly chased by men with various weapons. There is only one female in this book and she is a villain.
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What's the story?
Fourteen-year-old Adam Adlar finds himself in a real-life adventure when his father, designer of the world's most cutting-edge virtual reality game technology, goes missing. Suddenly Adam's being chased and deceived by men with guns and, most alarmingly, a dinosaur with extremely high intelligence and a taste for destruction. When Z. Rex captures Adam he discovers they are both eager to find Mr. Adlar -- but, Adam fears, for very different reasons. Adam has to figure out whom to trust before more people are hurt.
Is it any good?
Kids who like a lot of excitement and adventure will love this. Adam is completely relatable as a plugged-in teen whose love for video games is the most exciting thing in his life. That is, until his dad disappears and he gets a real-life visit from one of his scary virtual creations. The book has a lot of action violence, but the mysterious connection between Adam and Z. Rex is what drives the drama and adds some depth. And as with all exciting adventures Adam's on the run constantly, never knows whom to trust, and is confused at every turn.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Hayden. He excuses himself from any guilt over the Z. Rex catastrophe because he says he has "superior power and vision." Do you think Hayden can be excused just because he thought he had a good idea? Were the risks worth it?
Mr. Adlar was supposed to kill the Z. Rex, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. Why do you think that is?
Was the Z. Rex more human or more animal? Why? What makes something human?
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