A fun middle grade sci-fi novel, perfect for all ages!
Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!
Premise (from Goodreads)
For most adolescents, growing up is hard enough when one has both feet planted firmly on the ground. But for mischievous, twelve-year-old sisters Diane and Robin, life is complicated further by the fact that their father, Captain William Marsh, is the commander of the Starship Polaris. Living among the stars provides a never-ending realm of creative possibility for the free-spirited girls’ pranks and adventures.
When aliens bent on profit and revenge kidnap Diane and Robin, only their indomitable spirit, ingenuity, and a common love of trouble allow the pair to escape the alien vessel. Finding their way home seems assured until the sisters realize they have been taken further from home then they could ever have imagined, and that they must evade an enemy who will stop at nothing to get them back into his evil clutches. Blocked by interstellar battles, malevolent creatures, and overwhelming obstacles, the sisters fear they may never find a way to return to their own universe and to the father they love.
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Review (No Spoilers)
I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve done a post that wasn’t part of a blog tour!
Today I’m bringing you a review for a fun space-opera style middle grade novel called The Captain’s Daughters. If you’ve read the blurb above, you know that the basic premise is that two twelve-year-old sisters (not twins, just born less than a year apart) are kidnapped and forced to use their wits to find their way back home.
I really enjoyed the plot of this novel. It has this cozy sort of found family aspect to it that I wasn’t expecting. The pacing is pretty relaxed which gave me a nice breather from some of the high-stakes, heart-pounding novels I’ve been reading as of late. The tempo does pick up quite a bit at the very end, and I was surprised when it seemed everything was happening at once, but overall The Captain’s Daughters functioned as a nice comfort read for me. As a reader, you can’t help but root for Diane and Robin’s success. They are somehow adorable yet incredibly wily at the same time, and they touch the hearts of everyone they meet.
The book is told through multiple points of view (sometimes following Diane and Robin, sometimes following the kidnapper, sometimes following the girls’ father as he tries to find them) as well as multiple timelines. There are several flashbacks included in some of the chapters that give snapshots into some of the trouble that Diane and Robin have caused in the past—all in good fun or for good reason, of course. I actually really enjoyed these lighthearted passages even though they weren’t always pertinent to the overall story. My only complaint about them is that I wish they were in their own chapters rather than page-long interludes in the middle of a “present-time” section.
While this book is marketed as a middle grade, I think the writing lends itself to a slightly older audience. Nevertheless, I would say that I think this is a book that children and parents alike would get a kick out of. There are no overly-graphic parts of the book, and the action/violence is pretty mild. I would have no qualms with giving a middle grade reader this book to try out.
A big thank you to the author, Doreen D. Berger, for sending me a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review!
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