Pabkin’s One Liner: Just like watching a Star Trek episode in your head!
The Planet Thieves is the first thrilling installment of a new middle-grade series by Dan Krokos.
Two weeks ago, thirteen-year-old Mason Stark and seventeen of his fellow cadets from the Academy for Earth Space Command boarded the SS Egypt. The trip was supposed to be a short routine voyage to log their required spacetime for summer quarter.
But routine goes out the airlock when they’re attacked by the Tremist, an alien race who have been at war with humanity for the last sixty years.
With the captain and crew dead, injured, or taken prisoner, Mason and the cadets are all that’s left to warn the ESC. And soon they find out exactly why the Tremist chose this ship to attack: the Egypt is carrying a weapon that could change the war forever.
Now Mason will have to lead the cadets in a daring assault to take back the ship, rescue the survivors, and recover the weapon. Before there isn’t a war left to fight.
The Planet Thieves was a super fun, fast-paced romp filled with action, heroism and a touch of sadness!
Mason is our young protagonist, a cadet spending some time on one of the Earth Space Command’s greatest ships, the Egypt. His sister, Susan just so happens to be an officer on the ship. I loved susan and the relationship that is evident between them. When siblings have a shared crisis in their past, it changes them and the sort of bond they share. I recognized this and it made me wonder if the author had this sort of intimate knowledge or if he just writes that good!
I finished The Planet Thieves in one afternoon. From the time I started I did not want to put it down. It reminded me of my childhood when I would watch episodes of Star Trek. I’ve already pushed the book onto one friend’s son knowing he would love it. Mason is a smart kid but easily bored, and seems to have some issues with authority. Sometimes his mischievousness gets him into the hot seat. I adored some of his insightful inner dialogue.
An example of why I love Mason:
“Mason knew what it was like to say things you didn’t mean, to just have them vomit out, and then feel that crushing ache when you realized you could never pull them back.” – pg22
Though adults don’t have a lot of front time in The Planet Thieves, the ones that do get some face time are awesome. Mason’s oldest sister Susan is a great person. What’s great about his relationship with her is he actually listens to her and remembers the things she says:
“Sometimes, if she was afraid, she’d take all her fear and gather it up and turn it into anger. Anger didn’t paralyze the way fear did. It was the opposite of being helpless. But it was dangerous too, because you could end up being angry all the time.” – pg 48
“Susan had told him once that bravery was when you wanted to pee your pants, but you kept fighting.” – pg 56
Now every good space adventure needs alien villains – and oh boy do we have them here. They are in these crazy suits and you don’t get to see what they look like for awhile. They could not be summed up any better than the crazy rumors that circulate among the kids:
“The Tremist were aliens bent on annihilating the human race. The uncertain: They had better technology and, depending on who you talked to, would probably win the war. They were vampyres inside of human-shaped spacesuits that resembled armor worn by ancient knights of Earth. And they wanted to drink your blood.” – pg 13
What is all boils down to though is this is a tale of bravery and self sacrifice. Mason is willing to do a lot and give up everything in order to do the right thing and to save those he cares about. No matter how scared he is, he has some awesome morals and these are things that I loved. Plus I just love the slightly military feel to the book. Below are my two absolute favorite quotes from The Planet Thieves. I always know when I’m REALLY loving a book when I’m pulling quotes out left and right to save.
“He’d read in a textbook once a quote by the famous Captain Reynolds: I am not a brave man. But bravery, like most things, can be faked. And sometimes, in rare instances, it will lead to the real thing.” – pg 101
“A hard soldier is a strong soldier is a living soldier.” – pg 105
The Planet Thieves