Escape from Planet Yastol Review

Title: Escape from Planet Yastol | Series: Way Too Real Aliens #1 | Author: Pamela F. Service | Publisher: Lerner Classroom | Pub. Date: 2011-9-1 | ISBN13: 9780761379188 | Pages: 102 | Genre: Children’s Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Kindle Unlimited

Escape from Planet Yastol

11-year-old Joshua Higgins loves to write, but his prize-winning sci-fi novel has some unwanted fans. A group of sinister blue aliens have captured Josh and his sister Maggie. They claim that Josh can tune into other worlds, and they take him and Maggie to the planet Yastol to prove it. But even if Josh and Maggie can escape from their captors, will they be able to prevent the blue guys from conquering Yastol? Or will Yastols many dangers take care of Josh and Maggie first?

Book cover for Escape from Planet Yastol

Escape from Planet Yastol Review

Escape from Planet Yastol has some very interesting aspects to it. First off, I liked the fact that it was a kid who had had his book published that was the protagonist. That’s pretty much unheard of appearing in a story. It was even explained in a believable way, including all the profits going towards the cost of printing the book. It also talked at several points about the writing process in a way that encouraged kids. All positive things. Even when the kid author is talking about why he wrote certain things the way he did, you can see the thought process being very accurate.

I also liked the fact that it played off the idea that writers aren’t just making things up, they’re ‘channeling’ other worlds/dimensions, etc. While this is not a new concept, it’s rare enough to read about it that it’s enjoyable each time.  The author definitely ignited my imagination with Escape from Planet Yastol.

I giggled at the ‘bad guys’ because as soon as the author describes them, it’s very clear where she drew inspiration from. This is something that I love to see authors do. Every time it happens, it makes me reconsider my surroundings and wish my mind worked like that! Alas, those who can’t, review!

Air Dancer

I’m never going to look at those things the same way again.

Unfortunately, Escape from Planet Yastol is not as smoothly written as it could have been. This is a middle grade book, so I cut it a lot of slack, but it still needed some work. It felt like it was written almost too simply for the intended age range, especially in the beginning. It did flow a bit smoother as time went on. The author has written plenty of books, so I’m not quite sure what the problem was here. (Maybe it was her first time writing for middle graders or something.)

Overall, Escape from Planet Yastol was an entertaining read that definitely showed imagination. Beginning chapter readers may really enjoy the book. Older readers may find themselves put off a bit by the overly simplistic writing style and lack of subtlety. Your mileage may vary, but I suggest giving it a chance anyways.