Author: Monica Tesler
Age group: 10 - 14
Page count: 384 pages
Summary from Amazon:
Jasper learns that secrets can strain even the strongest bonds as the Bounders adventure continues in The Tundra Trials.
After discovering that Earth Force is waging a covert alien war, Jasper and his friends return to space and continue their training. This time, Earth Force brings them to the remote planet of Gulaga, where the cadets compete in the Tundra Trials: a grueling pod race across the planet’s frigid landscape.
But when their pod leader asks Jasper and Mira to secretly test a dangerous new technology that will take their Bounder abilities to the next level, the kids begin to suspect that there are rifts within Earth Force. The worst part? Jasper must keep the truth from everyone—even his own pod mates.
When Earth Force prepares for an attack against the aliens, the kids are tasked with a treacherous mission. With their loyalties torn, will Jasper and his friends once again fulfill their duty and fight for their planet? And if they do, will the secret tech work as planned or lead their enemies to their doorstep?
First, I'd like us all to look at the cover. The cover is so beautiful! It feels as if you're really standing there, gazing at a new planet. It awes me that our universe is full of so many amazing things, and I feel that wonderment was reflected in the cover.
I was rooting for the characters the whole way through. Their friendship was so strong. Even though they fought, kept secrets and teased each other, they cared. An example of this is when Jasper revealed the secret he had been keeping. They were hurt because they trusted him and cared for him. This book shows Jasper's bond with his pod.
Their characters and personalities grew as the story moved along. Their flaws shaped their personalities. All the protagonists were likable and faced relatable conflicts.
I really enjoyed the Tundra Trials (in the book, not the book) because I could really feel the thrill of competing in a "grueling pod race". It was really fun. I liked the race and what had to be discovered.
The climax felt kind of weak, however. Everything happened around the Tundra Trials, and the climax really didn't strike a chord to me with the rest of the book. I understand how it fits with the rest of the story and it was okay, but it didn't click with me.
I'm not sure what I would call the romance. It felt off, but overall, it was sweet.
The mysteries given and the cliffhanger! Some of the questions weren't answered, and they are just drilling a hole in my head! I am eagerly anticipating the third book.
I normally don't like science fiction, but I really enjoyed this one! All of the technology was fun and inventive. There was lots of action and adventure, which I think readers will enjoy. The action and adventure kept the plot moving ahead. Along with the characters, the action pulled me in and kept me hooked.
I give The Tundra Trials an eight out of ten! It had appealing characters, strong friendships and good action! The one word to describe this book is fun.
BOUNDERS is the first book in her debut, middle grade science fiction adventure series from Simon & Schuster/Aladdin. It will release in paperback with a new episodic title, EARTH FORCE RISING, on December 13, 2016. The second title in the BOUNDERS series, THE TUNDRA TRIALS, will release on the same date.
Taken from her website. Click the button below to access it!
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