There’s nothing quite like a good book for lunch (or dinner or breakfast or really any time), but it’s not every day I get the pleasure of sinking my teeth into one of chef Sigmund Brontor’s savory concoctions. Some of the ingredients include: Sirens blasting. Solar panels that aren’t working. Only enough oxygen for five days.
It’s the year 2039 and Tyce Sanders might not be the only fourteen-year-old on earth—but he is the only fourteen-year-old on Mars. Being the only kid raptor in the galaxy isn’t easy, especially when you’re in a wheelchair and the director of the Mars project doesn’t seem to like you. Tyce was told he was crippled due to poor hospital conditions, but he soon begins to wonder if there might be a different reason…
If I were as picky with books as Anton Ego is with food, this book would still have me coming back for more. I was instantly drooling by the first chapter when the author described the rescuing of three scientists in a sandstorm from a robot’s perspective.
Even though the protagonist was a raptor rather than an Authorosarus like me, I found him easy to sympathize with. He wasn’t supposed to be born and his birth caused a disruption to the Mars project. Common newborn necessities were too expensive to ship and Tyce often had to go without—including being without his dad for years at a time. The only time he ever got a glimpse of the outside world was when he was in the virtual reality game, but that wasn’t enough.
“It’s fun to become a part of the program and pretend I’m actually outside the dome. But I want the real thing. I want to get outside. I want to look up and actually see the sky and the sunset. Not just have it projected into my surround-sight helmet. I want—”
“Tyce,” Rawling said quietly, “look down.”
Even though I knew what was there, I looked down. At my wheelchair. At useless, crippled legs. At pants that never got dirty because I was always sitting.
The way Brontor described Tyce’s struggles, it was as if I were in his wheelchair (except if I was in his wheelchair, I wouldn’t have a wheelchair because I’d be so heavy it’d break).
Some sci-fi technology gives me a brain freeze, and sometimes it’s so hard to grasp that it breaks one of my thirty-six teeth. However, Brontor gave me a vivid glimpse of 2039. I could clearly see and understand how the scientists functioned inside the dome. It wasn’t long before I knew platform buggies as well as I knew Volcanowagens (they’re like Volkswagens, but bigger to hold our scaly bodies)! Brontor is also an expert at keeping his galactic adventures down to earth. No aliens, strange beings, or evolving dinos (because that’s the strangest thing of all) ever appeared and the events were never outlandish. The way Brontor portrayed the event, I could almost see them occurring here in the createtus period.
The book also sizzled with tension. Brontor shows writers how they could use multiple dilemmas to accelerate the action. Nearly every chapter ends in a cliffhanger and although Brontor drops enough hints for the reader to figure out the outcome, he never makes the plot predictable.
Robot Rawrs is recommended for ages 10-14, but it is perfect for anyone who doesn’t mind getting fat from eating too many suspenseful pages for a midnight snack.