Book Review: Dangerous by Shannon Hale

Book Review: Dangerous by Shannon HaleDangerous by Shannon Hale
on 1st March 2014
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Maisie 'Danger' Brown needs excitement. When she wins a harmless-sounding competition to go to astronaut boot camp, that's exactly what she gets . . . But she never imagined it would feature stumbling into a terrifying plot that kills her friends and might just kill her too. Now there's no going back. Maisie has to live by her middle name if she wants to survive - and she'll need to be equally courageous to untangle the romance in her life too. A clever, suspenseful thriller-adventure by New York Times bestselling author and master storyteller Shannon Hale.

For a girl who has been home schooled her entire life and wishes to explore distant planets – the lure of going to the number one space camp in the world is too much for Maisie “Danger” Brown to resist. The astronaut boot camp is everything Maisie could have dreamed of. She flirts with a mysterious bad boy and her fire-team manages to pass every test thrown at them. She even has the chance to go into space… but then everything changes.

There’s an alien threat and Maisie isn’t sure who she can trust anymore. Her middle name has always felt a little like a joke to her but if Maisie is to protect those she loves she needs to live up to it, embrace the dangerous and save the world.

I like Maisie. She’s resilient and brave. Born without a right arm, she has never let that hold her back from living her dreams. In fact – she aspires to be better, work harder than all the able-bodied people so that no one can use her handicap as an excuse. There are a lot of interesting characters who pop up throughout the novel, many of whom have ulterior motives which only makes them richer as people.

Plot wise – it’s an exciting journey. Maisie gets accepted into the prestigious boot camp and starts to explore a more independent life. She falls in lust and experiences just how to work as a team. There is so much more that happens after this but I loved not knowing what was going to happen next so I’m going to steer clear of any major spoilers. The dynamics of Maisie’s relationships change and grow over time and it’s great to see a book where there are characters who not only love their parents – but their parents play an active part in the novel. There are heroes and villains and many who fall somewhere in between.

I felt like this is a novel where the first half is slightly stronger than the second but I enjoyed the journey Dangerous took me on as a reader. It felt like a middle grade novel at times and at others slightly older. This may have been very intentional to show Maisie’s growth from sheltered child to independent woman.

Great characters, interesting plot and a journey I never saw coming – Dangerous is a fast paced adventure novel with many twists and turns.



    • I think the title makes sense if you read it. Maisie thinks her middle name of “danger” is somewhat ironic and stupid. But throughout the book she learns to embrace the dangerous for the greater good.

      And I’m looking though the books that I’m reviewing in the next few weeks – there are quite a few YA with one word titles! 😛

  1. This sounds really interesting. I haven’t read too many alien/space books and I’ve got a massive craving for some. I’ll have to check it out.

  2. Are you serious, her middle name is actually Danger? Sounds like a cheesy come on line. I’m hoping to read this one this weekend, and love the premise. Space boot camp, and the fact that she only has one arm and won’t let it disadvantage her goals, I’m loving the sound of this even more. Fantastic review, can’t wait to start it.

  3. Homeschooled? Astronauts? Boot camp??! This sounds seriously amazing! I feel like I’ve heard of the author before, but not really sure where/from what. Daaaang. I love books with funky action. And I do like that cover. 😉

    • She’s also written Princess Academy and Austenland. I’d heard of her before but this is the first book I’ve read of hers 🙂
      I love the cover too and It’s one of those books where the cover symbol had relevance to the story itself 🙂

  4. I love Shannon Hale’s Goose Girl series, and this sounds equally intriguing. I’m loving that fact that Maisie is born without a right arm, we don’t seem to get these sorts of characters in YA often. I’ve heard from other bloggers that the book definitely has a MG feel to it, but I’m glad you really enjoyed it Kate. Wonderful review xx

  5. Well! I came here expecting a negative review because I have only seen negative things about this book, and now you have totally made me re-think this book, I’m defo going to give it a go now. Maisie sounds like a really unique character!

    • I’ve read negative reviews and can understand why they were given. But overall – I enjoyed this book. The biggest problem I had was how it started feeling Middle Grade but then evolved into YA. It felt a little odd but I enjoyed the characters.

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