Series: Ever-Expanding Universe, Book 2
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on 12 November 2013
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
First Line: “Everything’s okay Elvs. Seriously, like, no worries.”
The Ever-Expanding Universe Series Order
Book 1: Mothership
Book 2: A Stranger Thing
Book 3: Untitled (~2014)
A Stranger Thing by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal picks up almost immediately after the events in Mothership end. I liked how there was no crazy gap in time that then had to be filled with with random flashbacks or info dumps. Though, on the other hand, with so long between reading Mothership and this one a little recap of what came before would have been nice. (Sometimes its just impossible to please a reader.)
I really liked the growing characterization of Evie and Cole and loved how Evie’s dad and BFF Ducky were still in the story. Some of the new characters were a bit over the top and hard to connect with but at least we had these old friends to bond with. Although I do think that Ducky and Evie’s dad were underused and I would have liked to see more of them in the story.
As with, Mothership, there were some crazy twists and turns in this book that really kept me guessing as a reader. But for me, it was a bit slower than the first book was. There was a long lull in the story as the characters settled into their new place in Antarctica before things took off in the last half of the story. Which shouldn’t have surprised me since A Stranger Thing is a second book in a series and is more of a transition novel than anything else. The main point of this book seems to have been getting the characters from point A to point B and setting up the big climatic finish of the final book.
I also didn’t like how this one ended on a cliff hanger. I know that Mothership did as well but this one was different. This one was more along the lines of trying to force the reader to find out what happens next. And with the third book at least a year away it just makes me sigh in frustration rather than be all bouncy with anticipation.
In the end, A Stranger Thing, ended up being just a so-so book for me. Evie was still her feisty self but there just seemed like there was a spark missing. The dialogue seemed more forced and the scenes/lines which should have been funny just fell flat. This makes me a bit sad as I love love LOVED Mothership and was all crazy bouncy excited for A Stranger Thing. And while I am interested in reading the final book I do kind of wish that I’d waited until that book was available before reading this one.