Friday, November 7, 2014

Review: Space Case

Space Case
By Stuart Gibbs
Published 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Dash knows he's supposed to feel lucky - after all, he's one of only a handful of kids currently living on the moon. But the truth is, the moon is kind of boring. Dash is about to get a cure for his boredom when one of the scientists turns up dead - and Dash thinks he was murdered. Can he solve the mystery and make sure the murderer gets evicted from the moon?

I downloaded this e-galley because I'm still trying to read more middle-grade and because Gibbs is a pretty popular author at my library. I'd never read a book by him before, so I was curious to see what the fuss was about. I figured his newest was as good a place to start as any.

I can certainly see why kids would find this appealing. Gibbs definitely has a talent for capturing an authentic tween voice - Dash definitely felt like a realistic character, as did his friends. It's interesting when you think about it - this book is actually mostly populated by adult characters (scientists researching and living on the moon) but it's quite clearly a book for kids. I mean, it is narrated by one of the few kids present, but everything about this book feels just right for middle-grade readers. The tone is perfect for this age group - a great blend of suspense and humor. I get the feeling that this is true of Gibbs' other books as well, so it's not hard to see why he's a popular author.

The mystery itself was well-done - it kept me guessing for the majority of the book. Gibbs manages to introduce enough suspects to make you question which one actually did it without making it feel like too many red herrings. I thought the why behind the mystery was particularly well-done and definitely could invite some interesting discussion.

My main quibble with the book was the little twist at the end. In the context of the story, I can see how it works, but I personally didn't care for it. Overall, though, I think this is going to be another hit from Gibbs. I look forward to checking out his other titles in the future.

Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via Edelweiss.

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