Zak Connors is a twelve-year-old boy who is not long for this world. A terrible virus has engulfed the earth, causing all children to die immediately upon reaching their thirteenth birthday. However, a lucky few are chosen to travel from Earth to Kronnus 13, a distant planet whose very atmosphere is a cure for the virus. Miraculously, Zak is one of those chosen, and he leaves his aunt, uncle, and friends behind to begin a bold new adventure.
However, the brave new world of Kronnus 13 is not all that it seems (like it ever is), and soon after arriving, Zak discovers strange things about not only the billionaire genius who gave humanity its last chance to survive, but about himself.
What I loved:
The premise of the story grabbed me right from the start. As a fan of sci-fi and middle-grade novels, I loved that the protagonist (and many of the supporting characters) were just barely teenagers. Kids that age (especially boys) act a certain way, and Mr. Sharkey did a great job of capturing the preteen mindset. I particularly loved the circle of friends the surrounded Zak. The interaction between them was genuine, especially the awkwardness of having to acknowledge girls as something more than cootie-factories for the first time.
There were several twists in the plot that I found very refreshing. I always love it when something dramatic happens that I don’t see coming.
What I didn’t love:
First of all, this book needed to be edited better. There were many instances where clumps of dialogue were spoken and it was left to me to guess exactly who was speaking. There were also many occasions where the repetition of words and phrases became flagrant.
This story was about Zak, so I can’t be too upset that the adult characters weren’t as fully fleshed-out. There were several scenes where the copious amounts of dialogue belied the urgency of the situation, thus making the plot devolve into cartoonish territory.
I didn’t mind the pro-ecological and pro-vegetarian messages that the author was trying to convey, but there were a couple of times when it crossed the line into preachy.
My Final Verdict:
Kronnus 13 is an engaging story that kept me turning pages right up until the end. I would recommend it for readers of middle-grade age. High-school aged kids may find it juvenile, yet still enjoyable. Adults, probably less so.