Review of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert Pease

When I asked for books from my Indie author friends to review on my blog, I can’t say that the request was completely altruistic. I wanted new stuff to read. I needed things to blog about, because the journal-keeping inclination was never something I possessed. Considering how much I liked this book, I’m really starting to feel guilty.

The Setup

(From Goodreads) Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be better. However, the twelve-year-old time traveler soon learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is abducted and taken to thirty-first century Mars; his dad becomes stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying a newly habitable, post-apocalyptic Earth.

Traveling through time in the family’s immense spaceship, Noah, a paraplegic from birth, must somehow care for the thousands of animals on board, while finding a way to rescue his parents. Along the way, he discovers his mother and father aren’t who he thought they were, and there is strength inside him he didn’t know he had.

Why You’ll Like It:

You are a Percy Jackson fan. I love me some Percy Jackson. Actually, I like just about any YA that Rick Riordan writes. While Mammoth Trouble isn’t the exact same thing, it has a similar feel. There is something about these guys (Pease and Riordan) that makes them really get the adolescent guy. Well, at least, I think so. I never was one, so I can’t say for sure. But this is how I’ve always imagined them to be.

You like a bit of history added to your books. The Hubs doesn’t, I do. It must have something to do with my minor in college (history). I find the blending of historical fact with fiction in a way that makes it interesting rather than tedious a great thing for any YA book to have. In Mammoth Trouble, much of what you read is in the future, but there are still peeks at the world that was here and there. I hope to see more in the sequels.

You like new interpretations of classic stories. I’m a sucker for these too. Total Once Upon a Time addict on ABC. For me, the reinterpretation of something I know to be “old hat” makes it new all over again for me. Is Noah from Mammoth Trouble told to build a ship by God before the oncoming flood? Of course not. That would be pretty hard to reinvent, wouldn’t it? But you can’t have a series titled Noah Zarc without some similarities either.

You’re a Sci-fi fan. Who doesn’t love some good imaginary tech? The gadgets in this book are amazingly well thought out. What’s even better (maybe because of the YA genre,) is that everything is explained to you in a way that makes sense. It’s not dumbed down, but it’s not described like Hamilton would explain it either. Read the book. You’ll get the Hamilton thing later.

You need books to have a sequel. Nothing drives me more crazy than just one book. If I love your characters, I don’t want a one night stand so to speak. While some books have the probability of a sequel, I’m always disappointed when I feel like I can see the overlapping story arc and it’s not as big as I would have hoped. It’s like knowing the day your milk is going to expire, only exponentially worse. Thankfully, Mr. Pease has left this series open for quite a few more sequels, which makes this reader happy.

Why you may not like it:

YA isn’t your thing. Hey, I understand. I live with that guy. I had to beat him over the head with Order of the Phoenix just to get him to read Harry Potter for cripes sake. And that’s a big book. Look, if you need serious drama cover to cover in all your books, I can’t make you want to read this. This book is for those of us who feel they have enough drama in their lives. This is an escape, where we’re invested in the outcome of the story, without needing to stress ourselves. These are my feelings on not only Mammoth Trouble, but all YA. It’s also why YA is one of my favorite genres.

Time travel makes your brain cramp up. I can get this one. If I go back in time and thump myself in the head, why haven’t I felt it yet? This cyclical argument about time has been addressed in things like 2001: A Space Odyssey to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The truth is, since no one has figured it out yet, one answer has as much validity as another. Thankfully, while there are a few spots in Mammoth Trouble where you have to stop and think a few things out, completely grasping the spacetime continuum isn’t required.

Here’s looking forward to the next installment of Noah Zarc. You can click here for purchasing information on Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble. You can also find D. Robert Pease’s Goodreads page here.

As a side note, Mr. Pease: while the title is very clever, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to backspace and retype it because of how it sounds in my head.

I shake my fist at you sir.

Now get writing.

Until next time, happy reading, happy writing!