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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

His mother is a scientist. His dad was a soldier. Ash is something new altogether. Kidnapped, Ash McCarthy wakes up on a remote tropical island. Why is he there? What is this medical facility around him? Most importantly, what's happening inside of him? Ash needs answers. He has twenty-four hours to get them. To escape, Ash must risk his life. But what's more dangerous: the jungle, his captors, or the mysterious chemical injected into his veins?…

Boy X

by Dan Smith

Overall Book Review:

Author Dan Smith turns up the heat in his latest YA novel, Boy X. Fully loaded with action, adventure, and bordering the line of sci-fi, this book doesn’t hold back on the suspense. 

Through third person narrative, readers become familiar with protagonist 12-year-old Ash McCarthy. Readers and Ash begin to grasp what a dangerous situation he is in when he wakes up in a curious laboratory on an all but deserted exotic island. 

With the help of Isabel, a daughter of one of the laboratory’s scientists, Ash commences the duty of saving himself, his mom, and possibly the world from sinister characters who’ve gotten hold of a deadly virus. 

The beginning of the story borders on being overly descriptive which hinders the flow, but as the novel progresses the pace picks up and the excitement builds. The alteration of Ash’s sensory abilities, and the setting of a hazardous jungle with treacherous terrain, not to mention the inhabitants, makes for a thrilling addition to the dangers Ash must face. 

The comradery between Isabel and Ash is enjoyable. Smart and resourceful, they face their fears and continue to help one another through some scary obstacles. 

Shady adults, mysterious effects on Ash, and surprise deterrents keep reader’s attention through this epic 24-hour adventure Ash must face.  With an ending that implies there is yet more surprise adventures in store for Ash, could there be a prospect of a sequel? As of yet, no word from author or publisher.

Comparable to a young Jason Bourne, this is perfect for readers who enjoy survival militant type novels with a strong male protagonist.  

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Chicken House

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  8 religious exclamations. Note: The word Hellfire is used, not as a profanity. 

Violence/Gore:  Report of adult drugging and kidnapping a child: extended scene (about 5 pages) pursuit of individuals involving gunfire, aircraft shot down with people inside, death, destruction of property; threat of violence, possible murder; implication that individual killed another individual in a violent manner: extended creepy scene (about 3 pages) adolescents discover a dead body, bloody, adolescent searches dead body; adolescents encounter more dead bodies, indication they died violently (2x); threat of deadly virus outbreak, characters are exposed to virus, face death; extended scene (about 1 ½ pages) adolescent character throws object at menacing adult; extended scene (about 2 pages) adolescents set off explosives, results in destruction of property; accidental injury; adolescents find dead bodies as a result of an accident; question of killing someone with a gun; report of parent’s death due to a hit and run; character fears another character, has violent thought; adolescents use a trick to trap adult character, suspected injury; report of character threatening a parent with death of their child; report of character’s parent’s murder; extended scene (about ½ page) characters discuss the possibility of violent danger from other characters; adolescent feels surge of violence against adult; extended scene (about 1 page) character tackles another character, exchange of violent threats; extended scene (about ½ page) character makes another character fall, grabs knife in threatening manner; character admits to violent acts; adult threatens child; order to kill another character (2x); character threatens another character with a weapon; characters shoot aggressive animals (not hunting); extended scene (about 2 pages) explosives go off creating chaos, damage, death, and injury; extended scene (about ½ page) adolescent threatens an adult holding knife to neck; order to shoot; extended scene (about 1 paragraph) animals are said to savagely attack character, implication of death; memory of murderous threat adult made to child; characters fire warning shots at individuals; extended scene (about 1 page) adult threatens to kill adolescent’s friend and family members; extended scene (about 1 page) adolescent sets off explosive in  aircraft, implication of death, mention of blood and injuries; characters face the threat of being killed; report of severe injuries. 

Sex/Nudity: None

Mature Subject Matter:

Violence/death/murder, abduction, bio-hazardous weapon.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Bio-hazardous virus: adult drugs/ injects child on 2 occasions; reference to being drunk; use of pain killers.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I appreciate books of all genres, but my main squeeze is fiction. Depending on my mood it could be romance or suspense; lately I’ve been courting fantasy. When I don’t have my nose in a book, I am locating tasty paleo recipes, writing in-coherent poetry, and crafting with paper.