Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5 stars)
Audio Book Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5 Stars)
Total Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.25/5 stars)
It was supposed to be a standard colonization trip: Zero and his family would board the Pathfinder, enter stasis, and 100 years later wake up in orbit of a new planet. But that all changes when Zero’s stasis pod malfunctions and wakes up only 1-month into the journey. Yet, as the only person awake from stasis, it means he’s also the sole person to defend the ship against a sinister crew of space pirates. Can he save the Pathfinder and its 20,000 passengers before it’s too late?
A fun audio book, with a full fledged cast that will keep the attention of both children and adults, we are set exploring the Pathfinder with 12-year-old Zero. He’s a precocious kid, observant with a knack for science. If anyone was to wake up on the pathfinder, thank goodness it was Zero! The narrative takes us through his journey, and each subtle detail became relevant to Zero’s goal: from the can of tomato sauce that exploded to the paint cans. Zero’s observant nature helps him take on a group of space pirates, alone for the most part, except from help in a few unlikely places.
The story is predictable, but in all the best ways. Of course Zero will save the day! But it’s his decisions that really capture the reader: he’s not malicious in his intents, only protective. It makes him an enjoyable character to read versus some other middle grade male protagonists who might be a bit more volatile or mean-spirited. No. Zero is kind, smart, silly, and a kid. Those are all the things that make him wonderful.
As an adult listening to this audio book, a few questions pop into my mind. It won’t take away from the enjoyment of the story, especially kids, but I do wonder: why were there no other safe fails or spare stasis pods? Why was there no way to safely wake up someone if there was a problem? Why was there only one pilot…especially on a ship of 20,000 people? These are things that, in the real world, probably wouldn’t happen. But for the narrative sake it worked, and kids probably won’t notice these questions enough.
I’m definitely going to check out the next story in Zero’s adventures. I’m curious what he, as well as his new friend, will encounter next!
What’s it about?
It’s one kid versus an entire band of space pirates in this cosmic middle grade caper from New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells.
Zero is just one of 20,000 people aboard a spaceship bound for a new planet set to be colonized. The journey is over a century long but luckily, everyone is in stasis, so they’ll be safe and sound asleep during the trip. Everyone that is, except for Zero, whose pod has malfunctioned, waking him up a hundred years early. His initial excitement in roaming the ship alone quickly turns to a heart-stopping interstellar adventure when a family of space pirates show up, trying to hijack the ship and take the colonizers hostage. With everyone he knows fast asleep, it’s up to Zero to think fast and find a way to stop them–all on his own.