The Jupiter Pirates, Book 2: Curse of the Iris
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Jupiter Pirates, Book 2: Curse of the Iris is the second in a series about a trio of smart siblings in the rough Hashoone family business of space piracy, or "privateering," as they prefer (there's much talk about the shady legality of it). Kids will learn a bit about the moons of Jupiter and Saturn while they think about what they'd need to survive in space. Expect some space battles a la Star Wars with missiles fired and ships lost. The Hashoones also find two ships with crews long dead, still strapped to their seats. On land, a man dies of alcoholism, and others have fistfights and draw guns.
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What's the Story?
It's no wonder the crew of the Hashoone family ship is a bit jumpy. In short order they found two ships with long-dead crews still strapped to their seats. Even worse, there's not much treasure to pirate: a few basic supplies, a mysterious transmission box, and a bank card for the Bank of Ceres. Still worse: The dreaded pirate Mox shows up, guns blazing, threatening to take what little they found before they make a hasty retreat. It's hard to understand why Mox is even interested in their meager loot until they get to Ceres to cash in their card. Not only are the card and the transmission box linked to finding a huge treasure, that huge treasure is claimed by ancestors of the Hashoones and other pirate families -- including Mox's.
Is It Any Good?
CURSE OF THE IRIS is at its best when it sticks to its main plot -- treasure hunting -- and when it sticks to its main characters -- the three Hashoone kids: Tycho, Yana, and Carlo. It's fun to see how banks work on a dwarf planet (with the added humor of the same ridiculously slow lines and inept tellers) and how one clue leads to another to point them to riches. Three talented teen siblings vying for their mother's captain's chair add some good tension and character depth to the story.
Then there are the myriad subplots and characters. There are so many names floating through space they're hard to keep track of. And the Jupiter-Saturn conflict adds some fun battle scenes but little else to Book 2 -- perhaps it's the main conflict in Book 3. Then there are the secret meetings Tycho has with the government; as the most conscientious of the pirating bunch, it's hard to see Tycho making that choice. Still, fans of space stories will find lots to enjoy here.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what it would be like if space piracy was your family business. Who would be the captain? Who would pilot the ship? Who would handle communications? Who would set the coordinates and break codes? And which grandparent can you picture with cyborg parts and a gun for a hand?
Do you read any other books about space travel? If so, which ones are your favorites? Will you keep reading this series?
What does Tycho want to do with some of the treasure that the rest of the family doesn't? Is that what you'd do?
- Author: Jason Fry
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Pirates, Space and Aliens
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Harper
- Publication date: December 16, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 352
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
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Supervillain-in-training tale a good fit for superhero fans.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Some decent messages wrapped up in the Force.
For kids who love sci-fi and adventure
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