Publisher's Note:  

Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in this wild, warm-hearted, and hilarious sci-fi debut about a brainy young girl who is recruited for a very special boarding school.

"It's like Harry Potter, but with science instead of magic. Nikola is exactly the smart female protagonist that the sci-fi genre needs."--HelloGiggles

Nikola Kross has given up on living in harmony with classmates and exasperated teachers: she prefers dabbling in experimental chemistry to fitting in. But when her life is axially inverted by a gang of extraterrestrials who kidnap her dad and attempt to recruit her into their service, she discovers he's been keeping a world of secrets from her--including the school for geniuses where she's sent for refuge, a place where classes like Practical Quantum Mechanics are the norm and where students use wormholes to commute to class. For Nikola, the hard part isn't school, it's making friends, especially when the student body isn't (entirely) human. But the most puzzling paradox of all is Nikola herself, who has certain abilities that no one understands--abilities that put her whole school in greater danger than she could have imagined.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

The Problematic Paradox

by Eliot Sappingfield

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Overall Review:  

A Problematic Paradox by Eliot Sappingfield is the kind of novel that takes you out of this world. Nikola is far from ordinary and her odd life takes an even odder turn when her father is abducted by aliens and she gets taken to a town/school for highly intelligent beings...not just humans. Nikola is much smarter than your average person, and it turns out she has caught the attention of an alien order. This town is supposed to protect her and the school certainly offers her more of a challenge, but life is kind of turned upside down for her as she wonders whether or not her dad is okay. In order to get him back, Nikola realizes she's going to have to admit that she doesn't know everything and that it's okay to rely on the help of others.

A Problematic Paradox has a wonderful storyline of persevering, using your talents, and acknowledging your weaknesses as Nikola finally fits in for the first time in her life, but is weighed down by the fact that her father was abducted by aliens and there is not much she can do about it. However, this novel and the storyline seem bogged down by the very descriptive nature of the higher-level sciences, gadgets, weapons and technology that they have and use at this special school. For the average person, the storyline seems to get lost in the 'science' of it all. To be honest, it was so complex sounding (think quantum physics or nanotechnology to the umpteenth degree) that I, the reader, could not tell if it was real or fake. Maybe that is what the author was going for though, and if that is the case it is well-written. However, for younger readers a lot of it might go over their heads unless they are really into the idea of complex sciences and how they affect our everyday life.

Review is of an Advance Uncorrected Galley

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  11 religious exclamations; 3 mild obscenities. 

Violence/Gore:  Person kidnapped by aliens; mention of how the aliens will possibly torture, beat and kill a person they kidnap; secondhand account of someone having been crushed by a falling vehicle but miraculously survives; an explosion destroys half a store; character is injured in an explosion; a character is possessed by an alien and almost cuts herself with a knife while being controlled; mention of the entire downtown being destroyed in an explosion; alien possess a human and causes him to be injured; Alien possesses another person and to stop it a character has to shoot some sort of gravitational gun to kill the alien; alien threatens to kill a character; character cuts alien in two with a sword

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:  

Alien abduction, parental abandonment.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Mention of kid having stolen a cigar from a store and then smoked it in a school bathroom; reference made to a book that mention how humans use drugs and alcohol when stressed.

Reviewed By Sally
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