The computer screen glowed in my dark bedroom like a moon. Mom was late logging on to video-conference with me. My mom was totally into ancient civilisations: Mayans, Incans, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans. She even liked Vikings. Her latest expedition had taken her to the jungles of South America.
Maya is used to her mom being away in some remote part of the world, but it didn’t stop her from missing her. This time however, whilst Maya’s mom is away her dad gets a call, a discovery has been made and they need a first rate palaeontologist to check it out. Maya convinces her dad to take her along on the trip, it will be her first expedition, and they are there to check out a mass which is believed to be a mammoth, encased in ice. When maya and her father make it to the station they a in awe of all the equipment Billionaire Randal had on offer, but the mammoth discovery soon turns out to be a false alarm, whatever it is under the ice is not mammoth. No-one knows exactly what the strange discovery is but there’s one thing for sure, it appears to be other-worldly.
The beautiful cover and fascinating blurb of this book made me want to read it and read it fast. Thankfully I managed to get a copy but it sat on my shelf for much longer than I had hope, but once I sat down to read it, I was whisked away on an adventure like no other.
The Icarus Project was really good, Maya wants to make her own big discovery and be just like her parents. At 13 she’s a little younger than the protagonists I am used to but I loved her ambition and in all honesty she was mature, a bit of the time. I loved that both of her parents had their own loves that stood out and they seemed like real people, not just her parents. I also loved that Maya wasn’t the only child on the station, Kyle and his mom really helped the story along and I loved how the relationships built up between the characters.
The story was so interesting and I loved how there was a bit of a conspiracy over Randal and Jake, their intentions and what exactly was under the ice. I also really enjoyed finding out more about Charlie and how his presence changed the station and the people staying there. The visions that each of the characters seemed to have we fascinating to read about and I loved every minute.
The book was quite fast paced but it was very obvious that it is intended for a younger market; it’s middle grade through and through. Maya was quite selfish, though some may say determined, at times and she seemed to jump to action before she thought things through. It was a great adventure story but I did find myself lagging in adding because certain bits seemed to be drawn out a bit too much; the last 50 pages though are brilliant. I loved the voice of the book and the way it really felt like Maya was documenting everything and she was there, telling you everything but I felt that it was a little falsified in places, that things were pushed in to remind you of bits you may have forgotten about even though they were only a few pages ago and stuff like that. It was a brilliant read but I think reading it all in a couple of sittings may have dampened my enjoyment of it.
The Icarus Project was a great adventure story but it hasn’t really got any massive high points, I did enjoy it and there were bits that I loved but nothing blew my mind, nothing really made me think ‘wow!’ with it; it was average. However as I just mentioned, I think my enjoyment may have waned due to my reading it quickly and I think a slower, younger reader will definitely appreciate it more. I’m more than convinced that any 9-11 year old obsessed with fantasy, or flying, the Arctic, or history, will love this book.
The Icarus Project was published on October 1st by Amulet. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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