Saturday, August 2, 2014

Review - "Death Trap" by Sigmund Brouwer

Robot Wars: Death Trap, Book One

Death Trap 
by Sigmund Brouwer
Robot Wars series, Book #1
Published by Tyndale
288 pages
Target Audience: Boys and Girls, Ages 10-14
Genres: Science Fiction, Youth Fiction, Christian Fiction
About This Book:
"Set in an experimental community on Mars in the year 2039, The Robot Wars series features 14-year-old virtual reality specialist Tyce Sanders. Life on the red planet is not always easy, but it is definitely exciting. Tyce finds that the mysteries of the planet point to his greatest discovery—a new relationship with God. He talks about his growing faith and curiosity in a manner that kids can relate to as they are probably wondering some of the same things. Each book contains two exciting adventures. In the first adventure, the Mars project is in trouble and only Tyce holds the key. In the second adventure, Tyce has discovered there may be killer aliens on the loose.
Robot Wars is a repackaged and updated version of Mars Diaries. There are now five books in the series; each book contains two stories. These new books contain a foreword about how far science has brought us."


In Robot Wars, Book #1: Death Trap, we are introduced to 14 year old Tyce, the first - and so far only - kid to be born and to live in an experimental community on Mars in 2039. Due to a spinal injury that happened when he was a baby, Tyce is disabled (his legs are crippled) and he uses a wheelchair. He longs to go outside the dome that they live in on mars and actually see what the real Mars is like rather than seeing it through a virtual reality program, but he can’t due to having to use his wheelchair which would sink in the sand on Mars. At the beginning of the series Tyce is not a Christian. His mom is a Christian and tells Tyce about God and trys to convince him to put his faith in God, but Tyce only believes in science and what he can see and measure.

Death Trap is split up into two journals. The two journals were originally published as books one and two in the Mars Diaries series.

In the first journal, the community on Mars is faced with an oxygen crisis where they are running out of oxygen and must figure out what to do. If they don’t find a way to fix the problem quickly, they could all die. During this crisis, a long kept secret is revealed to Tyce and he must make a tough decision of his own.

In the second journal, a scientist working in an experimental greenhouse is attacked by some unknown creatures. There aren’t supposed to be any living creatures on Mars, so what are these creatures and where did they come from? Could they be aliens? That is what Tyce wants to find out.

I used to see the original versions of these books (when they were published as the Mars Diaries series) a lot at my local bookstores and thrift stores and for some reason was never interested in them. Apparently I thought they were about a totally different plot or of a different genre than what they actually are. I wish I had given them a chance and read one of the books sooner as I did enjoy reading the first book in the Robot Wars series and probably would have liked it even more when I was younger. The book was interesting and had several plot twists. The first journal had some very emotional parts in it. I liked the pace of the book and I wanted to keep reading to find out what was going to happen. I really did like the book and I would now like to read the rest of the series to find out what happens to Tyce in his other Mars adventures.

I think this book is a good book for the ages it is intended for, and some adults (like me) will enjoy it as well, although a lot of adults will probably find it too simplistic in comparison to adult science fiction books. I like that this series can be read by both boys and girls. It seems there are an abundance of books published by Christian publishers for girls, but not many for boys. I definitely think this would be a great series for boys to read, especially if they are interested in space, science fiction, and robots.

One thing I do not like so far about this series is the newer “Robot Wars” title. I think it can be misleading as there is no actual robot war in this book (and although I haven’t read the other books in this series, I don’t think there is one in them either). I thought the Mars Diaries title for the series was a better choice that wouldn’t lead to confusion about what this book is about.

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