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Friday, March 14, 2014

"Earthfall: Earthfall #1" by Mark Walden (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Visit Mark Walden's Official Website Here

OVERVIEW: Sam awakens to see strange vessels gathered in the skies around London. As he stares up, people stream past, walking silently toward the enormous ships, which emit a persistent noise. Only Sam seems immune to the signal. Six months later, he is absolutely alone.

Or so he thinks. Because after he emerges from his underground bunker and is wounded by a flying drone, a hail of machine-gun fire ultimately reveals two very important truths: One, Sam is not, in fact, alone. And two, the drone injury should have killed him—but it didn’t.

With his home planet feeling alien and the future unstable and unclear, Sam must navigate a new world in this gripping adventure.

FORMAT: Earthfall is the first novel in a proposed series of children's books. It contains elements of sci-fi, mystery, action/adventure and slight dystopian. It stands at 270 pages and was published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on August 27, 2013. It was first published June 1, 2010 by Bloomsbury.

ANALYSIS: The children's literature section is packed with fantasy books that tell tales of magic, witches, and wizards, but the sci-fi section is sorely lacking. There are only a handful of books that I have encountered that have attempted bringing sci-fi to younger children and those seem to be overlooked.

Earthfall is the first book in a series, but it attempts to introduce children to the sci-fi genre in a fun, exciting way. Packed with adventure, aliens, and mystery this book is sure to captivate almost any reader's attention – regardless of age.

Earthfall is written in such a way that adult readers will find it a page-turner and captivating, while younger readers will find it thrilling and exciting. Some adult readers might find the plot a little 'elementary', but I felt there were enough twists and turns that even the most seasoned sci-fi adult readers would enjoy it.

Mark Walden does a lot right in this novel. First, the novel is approximately 280 pages. This means that readers aren't weighed down with lengthy descriptions or unnecessary information. The book gets right to the heart of the story, while still leaving a sense of mystery surrounding the entire plot.

The 280-page novel is also ideal for children. It isn't too intimidating, but it doesn't 'dummy' things down for them either. It is the perfect length for children venturing into the sci-fi genre for the first time.

Another thing that is just right is the plot development. There is just enough details given to create an amazing story, yet it isn't scary or overly complicated.

While Earthfall is amazing, there are a few things that could have been improved. One of them was the structure of the paragraphs. Sometimes, there would be incredibly long paragraphs that took up the entire page. I found this a little odd and hard to read, but nothing that completed distracted from the novel.

Another area that could have been worked on was the names of the alien creatures. Sometimes they were called Hunters, sometimes Voidborn. This was because the characters created their own names for the aliens and other creatures, which weren't the right names. When the truth came out, they find out the 'true names', and that was where things got confusing. It works itself out, but it was a tad confusing.

Overall, I was impressed with Earthfall. It was a quick, mysterious, action-packed novel that was ideal for readers of all ages. Whether just getting started with sci-fi fiction or an avid fan looking for a quick, yet good read, this is certainly a book for you.


steve said...

I am so glad you liked this book! I am very much looking forward to
reading it! Also, that website is super cute.

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