Scan by Walter Jury and Sarah Fine

scan by sarah fine

Tate and his father don’t exactly get along. As Tate sees it, his father has unreasonably high expectations for Tate to be the best—at everything. Tate finally learns what he’s being prepared for when he steals one of his dad’s odd tech inventions and mercenaries ambush the school, killing his father in the process and sending Tate on the run from aliens who look just like humans.

Even with all he knows like how to defend himself with useful tools made out of bubblegum, Tate fears he’s still inadequate.  With the help of his girlfriend and estranged mother, all Tate can really do is keep moving and ensure his father’s invention stays out of the hands of his pursuers and that his father didn’t die in vain.   A riveting, fast-paced adventure, Scan is a clever alien thriller with muscle and heart.

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for purposes of review. These opinions are my own. The description of the book used here was taken from Goodreads.

 It’s been a while since I read some science fiction, with the exception being Burn Out by Kristi Helvig. I loved how much of this world was related to the main theme of science fiction, but also brought in many different elements and themes.

For one thing, thriller. This is a thriller. For being considered a thriller, some parts were slow. While I did like the way the authors worked up to certain scenes, I also felt that some parts to the story were unnecessary. However, pacing overall was very well done. It’s a pretty quick book, moving from place to place, but not too fast.

One thing I enjoy almost every time: clever characters. Witty, smart, quick, call it what you will–but clever characters just do it for me. And I really enjoyed the way that Tate used his scientific knowledge to get past obstacles and work his way through tight situations. However, the use of it in a whimsical, prankster way was appealing to me as well. While Tate does make some stupid decisions, reading from his POV made me understand a lot of why he did what he did–even if I didn’t always enjoy his character.

Another thing that didn’t work for me was the relationship. Christina and Tate were great by themselves, but I don’t really enjoy them together. While I wouldn’t say they were bad together, they just weren’t that interesting and they have a long ways to go as a couple.

I definitely had questions at the end. What’s so special about this scanner? What’s up with Christina and Tate? Why do they work? Aliens. There were way too many questions brought up by the aliens, such as why exactly do they look like humans? If that was explained reasonably, I wouldn’t have had a problem with it.

While I say all these things, SCAN really was an enjoyable read. It’s very quick and very well paced. While I had some issues and a lot of questions, I am looking forward to the second book in the series and I think that this was a good layout for what’s to come. I loved many things about the characters and I also liked the way there wasn’t too many of them in the first place so it wasn’t hard to keep track of what exactly was going on. Overall, a good read. While this is for mature readers, I didn’t find problems with it other than intense action sequences and some relationship work. I would recommend this book for fans of Ender’s Game and other science fiction YA and MG. 3.5 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 336



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