My Thoughts on Randoms
You may be surprised to find out that this is a book review. Yes, someone—(David Liss, to be exact)—decided to name a book “Randoms”.
BACK STORY TIME
Yesterday, after I watered plants for someone, mom swung me by the library so that I could drop of my books from last week. While doing that, I wanted to get new books, but mom said to try and hurry. Being the overachiever—in this instance, “overachiever” means “I hurried as fast as I could in a blind fit of desire to please my mother” *—that I am, I didn’t really look for any books. I just grabbed a few things when the titles seemed interesting.
However, when I saw Randoms, it was the cover that got me. I didn’t even read the title. I just looked at the cover, thought This looks cool, snatched it, and ran off to check out my books.
|Try and tell me that this is not epic. Try.|
I got home, and it wasn’t until four hours later that I actually got around to my books. I decided I wanted to start with Randoms, so I did. I was gripped by the first chapter.
Alright, back-story-of-how-I-got-this-book; complete!
(For those of you who don’t stick around due to spoilers; this is a great book read it please)
On to the review! WARNING, THIS WILL HAVE SPOILERS! (I'm sorry, people. The way I review involves spoilers.)
Zeke Reynolds comes from a long line of proud science-fiction geeks. He knows his games, comics, movies, and TV shows like Captain Kirk knows the starship Enterprise. So it’s a dream come true when he’s selected to be one of four preteens from earth to spend a year on a massive space station. He also learns that the science-fiction he loves so much is based on reality and was meant to prepare humanity for this mission. To evaluate humanity’s worthiness, the Confederation of United Planets has handpicked most talented young people—then there’s Zeke. He’s the random.
Zeke finds that the deck’s stacked against him, and he’s way out of his league, but just maybe his knowledge of science-fiction will be the thing that saves himself, his friends, and Earth itself.
When I first read that, I won’t deny that I rose a skeptical eyebrow.
A geek gets randomly chosen for an opportunity of a life-time, the kid accepts, and his smartness saves him and everyone else.
While not stereotypical, it seemed sorta… meh
However, once I started reading, I was pleasantly surprised by how original and amazing this book was.
I instantly liked Zeke, and I beamed at his mother… well, I beamed at the book as his mother did things. You get the point.
I wasn’t quite expecting the president to show up on Zeke’s door step, but it was the cause of a fit of giggles on my end.
I called it instantly that Ms. Price was going to be the bad guy, or at least a bad guy, but it was still interesting to watch her throughout the book, then whisper-shout “I knew it!” as her evilness is made ever apparent.
I liked Charles, and was extremely disappointed with him when he, Mi Sun, and Nayana shunned Zeke. I was angry as the constantly pushed him away… it just really bugged me. But, the three of them proved their worth in the end. I ended up appreciated Mi Sun, adoring Charles, and… well, I don’t dislike Nayana nearly as much as I had beforehand.
One of my favorite parts in the entire novel is when Steve just appears in Zeke’s room, just about giving Zeke a heart-attack (I know that heart-attacks are no laughing matter, but that scene in the book was HILARIOUS). I thought he was going to be a bad guy at first, but I grew really fond of him. He and Tamret tied for my second favorite character(s), and there were a TON of great characters in that book.
And, guys. Tamret. I knew there was a cat girl on the cover, but I was not expecting a full-blown nekomusume. But, gahhhhhh, I love Tamret! She’s so feisty and sarcastic, but at the end of the day she’s insecure and will do anything for her friends. She even stole something of Zeke’s for a few hours so that she could program a cure for his mother (Zeke’s mom has ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). She and Zeke are so cute, too! I mean, they’re 12, and the author does a very good job of keeping it to a mutual crush… BUT, GUYSSSSSSS IT’S A MUTUAL CRUSH AND THEY HUGGEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!! I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, and you probably rolled your eyes; but, TRUST ME, those two are soul mates.
And, when all the junk goes down… it’s just so gasp worthy as you sit there and watch as Zeke faces the Phandic representative in court (did I mention that Zeke’s ship got attack and he had to blow up a hostile alien craft within the first 10 chapters?) and then the shame and self guilt as the Phandic Empire destroys the ship with Zeke’s other alien friends… gahhh.
But, through that scenario you do find out that Zeke’s dad is still alive. Up until chapter twenty-five, we—“we” being the readers as well as the characters of the story—had been under the impression that Zeke’s father died in a car accident while in Europe, trying to reboot his television show with people who would give it credit. Turns out he was actually “kidnapped” and taken to space, and by the time he came to a point in which we would be able to return home, the aliens of the Confederation of United Planets depended upon him too greatly. Then he was “killed” again, but in reality he was taken to the Phandic empire. When Zeke finds out that, after five years, his father is alive, he naturally wants to go save him, despite subtle anger.
And that is how all of earth’s representatives, along with the Ish-hi random (Steve) and the Rarel random (Tamret), steal a spaceship and infiltrate a massive enemy prison planet at light speed.
The entire book is action-packed, but the following chapters are just… wow. Reading those chapters was like dumping a red-bull into a cup of coffee then chugging the whole thing.
Then they save Zeke’s dad, there’s a much more details explanation of what happened the past five years, and Tamret makes them hug (gotta love Tamret!)
Then they actually over power the Phandics and Ms. Price, and the bad guys are forced to surrender. Tamret and Zeke tell each other how they feel on the ride back to the Confederation, and everyone’s all happy, the saved crew members from a ship are welcomed with open arms… then everyone else is basically declared villains of state and exiled.
‘Cause you weren’t fine with stamping on our hearts in various other places of the book, were you, Mr. Liss? You felt the need to grind your heel in for extra measure, didn’t you? Well, guess what? It worked! We’ve all drowned in a lake of tears. Thanks sooooooooo much for that. (But seriously, if Mr. Liss should ever come across this for any reason; thank you so much for writing this book!f I mean, I cried, sure… but it was still an amazing book, the best I’ve read in quite awhile!)
Zeke’s father is kept prisoner, but the Ish-Hi, Rarel, and Earth representatives are all simply exiled to their own planets. Zeke is allowed to say goodbye to his Steve (sad), his father (very sad), and Tamret (if “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” could be sad).
Charles, Mi Sun, and Nayana are all depressed, but they don’t blame Zeke. I was really relieved to find out Ms. Price had basically forced them to shun Zeke, and even though I was disappointed that they chose to not refuse her, I’m still glad they all had their moments of truth, and I was sad to see them go.
And then Dr. Roop leaves him with his nano-thingies, and he’s able to read Tamret’s letter and Urch’s engraving. It was so amazingly sad, and it was such a gripping cliff hanger… then in confusion I closed the book and realized it say “1”.
THIS IS A SERIES, GUYS!
And, if the other books are going to be anything like the first, this is going to be an awesome series!
I never thought I’d say this, but… this just might sneak it’s way past Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.
I’m saying “JUST MIGHT”. Harry and Percy have been with me a lot longer than Zeke. It will take a lot more than one great book to conquer my favorite wizard and demigod, but Zeke just might have it in him.
For now, however, Zeke will have to wait in line.
*Mentally imagines what it would be like if the main-trios from Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Randoms had a face-off series or something*
Hey, I can dream.
Thanks for reading!
~Bekah the Bookworm
~Bekah the Bookworm
*I also got the first book in “A Series of Unfortunate Events”