My Rating: 2.5 stars
Good Reads Rating: 3.89 stars
Series: Spartan and the Green Egg #1
Genre: Children’s Fantasy/Adventure
Publisher: Full Cycle Publications
Check it out: Good Reads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble
As a former teacher, I was so excited to receive this book in exchange for a review. The summary on barnesandnoble.com made it sound fascinating:
“Join Spartan, his three friends, and his dog, Grimm, as they travel the Universe. The mission of this talented team is to gain and share knowledge of their amazing discoveries. With the power of their minds, they made contact with a race of alien explorers, who communicate with them via an egg-shaped spaceship that is itself an organic alien being. Their expeditions are made even more exciting through the use of new technology and cool gadgets, provided by their new friend, who goes by the name of Egg. In Book 1, A Trip to the Rainforest, the team’s introduction to the rainforest and all its wonders is made even more fun by the company of two native Amazonian Indians. Their extraordinary visit is not without a few close calls. After an eye-opening experience with a mysterious Shaman, their own troubles seem to pale in comparison to what they learn. The rainforest is in danger of vanishing, and all its creatures and plant life are at risk of extinction. With the help of the Green Egg’s out-of-this-world technology, the team is able to put a big dent into the path of destruction and re-new hope for the survival of the rainforest.”
I must say when I received the hardcover book I was impressed! The cover art is colorful and beautifully drawn and the binding is well done. The book is actually a graphic novel, and the rich cover art is continued throughout the book. As I read the book, I was trying to place it in an age group. My first impression from the artwork is middle-school, somewhere between 10 and 12, but the behavior of the kids seems younger than that, and their clothing is eclectic but definitely trending younger. The overalls and hat on Katie seem younger and the suit on Max seems like he is playing at being an adult. So, my initial placement of 10-12 seems a little old, and the real placement by artwork is in the 8-10 yr. old range. One technical observation is that on page 9 Katie’s name is spelled differently, which would have been taken care of by a more thorough technical edit.
This make-believe story is about mind energy and mind light which conjures the alien green egg to earth help the kids investigate the rainforest. The green egg empowers them with new abilities that enable them to travel, speak other languages, and miraculously spy on evil loggers destroying the rainforest. It is at this point that I began to wonder about the agenda in the book. It becomes heavy-handed against the loggers and very threatening in a way that would scare some younger readers. It becomes clear that the anti-logging and conservation agenda is THE reason the book was written, with the loggers promising to share it with other loggers. The statement at the end where Spartan comments they should keep the adventure to themselves and not share it with their families seems a little disturbing for young parents. If the loggers can share it with other loggers, shouldn’t the adventurer be able to share it with his or her parents?
I have to give Spartan and the Green Egg 4 stars for artwork, but only a 2.5 for the story, unless a parent or teacher is looking for an artistic and simplistic way to share a fairly complicated political agenda.
Book Review from Tami