ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Stranded

The Prometheus Project, Book 3

Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 2010

Ryan and Regan Resnick are the only two children allowed to work in Prometheus, an underground alien city discovered by the government and classified top secret. Their physicist father and biologist mother both work there, exploring alien planets through dimensional portals in the city. When their mother pulls them out of school early one Friday to visit the planet Isis they are very excited. But the weekend is not what they imagined. They arrive at Prometheus just before the leader of the entire project is shot and the Enigma cube, a piece of mysterious technology, is stolen. When they get to the planet Isis they discover that a member of their own research party is responsible for the crimes. That same villainous scientist sabotages their transportation back to Earth and, taking one hostage, abandons the rest of the group to Isis forever. It is up to Ryan and Regan to set things right.

Ryan and Regan, bright and interested in the world around them, are excellent role models for their readers. They care about one another and about other people. They use logic and reason to work their way out of seemingly impossible scenarios. Author Douglas Richards has done a fantastic job of explaining complex concepts in tangible ways. For example, Regan explains gravity to Ryan: “Suppose you spread marbles out on a large, circular tram-poline. Then you set a hundred pound bowling ball in the very center of the tramp. If you did, the bowing ball would stretch the tramp down, creating a crater-shaped pocket, and the marbles would roll toward it.” Ryan responds: “So space is like a trampoline. And everything pushes into it. Light things dent it just a little. Heavy things, like the Sun, dent it a lot. And the heavier and object is, the bigger the crater it creates, so the more other things are forced to roll towards the bottom of this crater.”

This is the third book in the Prometheus Project series, and fans of the first two books will not be disappointed. Science is blended seamlessly into adventure and mystery to create a story that provides non-stop entertainment and a great learning opportunity. Mr. Richards, who also writes for National Geographic Kids magazine, explains every action and ties up every loose end. It is a delightful book from the first page to the last.

Catherine Thureson