James Patterson’s 2008 novel, the Dangerous Days of Daniel X, is a thrilling adventure into the life of an alien placed into an unfamiliar life on earth. Daniel X’s parents were killed when he was a child, and they left him the responsibility of fulfilling a list: a list of several different villainous aliens who Daniel must destroy. The very fate of the planet Earth lies on the shoulders of Daniel in his pursuits to carry out the mission his parents started. Throughout the book, Daniel employs one of his superpowers, shapeshifting, to manifest his parents and consult them for advice. Daniel also creates “friends” to guide him and keep him company, because he never has time to do regular teenage things, like go to school or make friends. Daniel is constantly running all across different places in this first book of Patterson’s series, in this case searching for a high ranking monster by the name of Ergent Seth. However, while Daniel’s hunt for Ergent Seth is risky and carries a great chance of ending with his death, it’s not even close to the end of the road for Daniel. In order to complete his mission, Daniel must eliminate every single monster on the list.
Patterson chooses a simple writing style throughout the book, opting to appeal to a younger base in the range of advanced elementary school to middle or high school students. I liked the simplicity of Patterson’s novel, because it made for a very easy, relaxing read. Patterson chooses very descriptive diction in the novel, which creates a very vivid scene, but he also avoids overcomplicating the plot with too many adjectives. Overall, the book is a great read for those looking for something simple, short, and entertaining, which is why I rate the book 4.5/5 stars. The one downside of the book is that it doesn’t appeal to readers looking for more advanced content.
Book Review by Andrew Lichtblau