This story was incredibly unique. Not because of the space travel. Because let’s face it, there are tons of books about that. Not because of the talking cat/alien. Lots of those too.
This book was unique because it’s main character isn’t looking to be a character in anything….ever. It’s not often that you find a main character who flinches from adventure but handles it so well…if reluctantly.
The pace of this story is perfect for it’s age group. It continuously moves but not overwhelmingly so. It’s a well paced series of interesting and exciting events that hold the readers attention without becoming tedious or expected. After about halfway through the book you get the feeling that things are going to continue to be a bit hectic. I enjoyed that there was a lot going on but it stayed original.
One of my favorite parts of the book is the zoo planet and it’s odd choice of zookeeper species. If someone were to ask me what species of animal would be best for running a zoo, I would think frogs would be last on my list. If they were on my list at all. Wonderful choice by the author. Very unexpected.
I LOVE Bootles character. He is witty and smart. He is clever and self depreciating. He is so complex! That’s not an easy thing to achieve with a talking cat/alien. He added so much to the story.
On top of everything I love about this book, the thing that I have to say I am the most happy about is that as an adult I really enjoyed reading it. I am actually really excited about the next book. It is not easy to write a book for middle school kids that appeals to adults as well.
I give this book the full 5 stars!
This is a story with all sorts of unexpected surprises lurking behind every corner, some seeming harmless at first. . .but looks can be deceiving.
Kyle is pulled into the adventure of a lifetime the minute the first chapter begins. Concerned about his all of a sudden disappeared mom, he leaps through a portal with his pet cat, Bootles, only to discover that life is not what it seems. He's in over his head in a galactic man hunt. . .or cat hunt.
Kyle is a fun kid, who takes things pretty well in stride. His thoughts and actions are completely understandable even when danger abounds. There's friendship and trust among the quirkiness, as this book head starts a series which is sure to be a lot of fun. And who knows where it will take Kyle next. But the character who really catches the attention is Bootles. Not only is the story sometimes told from his point of view, but who doesn't love a talking cat?
There are so many interesting and fun alien creations, from Battle Droids to Krankens and more. Each one is well described and exactly the kind of things readers will wish they got a chance to see for themselves. The illustrations sprinkled in between are an added bonus, which I always love to see in literature for this age group.
There isn't much time to stop for breathers because Kyle and Bootles have their hands full, and when Sophia joins the picture, the action really gets under way. If you're looking for character depth or lots of thought, this won't be the book for you but is rather something for adventure fans who love a fantastical, wild ride.
Summed up: This is an action packed, alien adventure for readers ages 8 to around 10. It's an easy, short read, and will especially appeal to more reluctant readers.
Kyle Evans is living a reasonably boring and safe life until a few weeks before his tenth birthday when a temporal vortex appears in his bedroom. Then his life becomes very interesting indeed. Spaceships, vortex travel, robots, interesting and dangerous lifeforms, metallic attack ants,and a talking cat, who is really an alien, called Bootles. Kyle is in for the adventure of a lifetime.
Action and adventure right from the first few pages set the tone for this fast-paced and engaging science fiction novel. Excellent description accompanies good character development, allowing me to feel like I could step right into the story. The chapters are short; each leading neatly into the next, keeping the story flowing along swiftly. The cover threw me a bit, as I couldn’t work out how a panther fit in with the story, until I realised that Bootles was actually a black cat!
Robots, robots, everywhere! Search droids, battle droids, Kranken. These last look like robotic ants, but they come in a big nest and can morph together to change their appearance and abilities. I really like this concept even though it made them terrifying! The scenes at Kyle’s school were exciting.
I do love cats in literature! Bootles is my favourite character, he is witty, brave, loveable and resilient. He is also affectionate and he made me laugh. Kyle and Sofia displayed courage and curiosity and I liked them too. I think Bootles was lucky to have them by his side. While Bootles was really an alien hiding in the skin of a cat, he acted quite a lot like a cat; rubbing himself against Kyle’s legs, purring and hissing. He had plenty of crazy ‘plans’ to help them escape danger too, some of them were ingenious, while others were overthought. I love their escape from the zoo and Sofia’s ability to fly the spaceship was truly amazing.
The Commander reminded me of the villain Dr. Claw from the Inspector Gadget cartoons, except his sidekick is a grey cloud instead of a fat cat. We were only treated to glimpses of The Commander, yet it was enough to know he is evil, scary and powerful. I really hope Bootles can stay out of his grasp!
Kyle Evans and the Key to the Universe is suitable for middle and upper primary school students. This is the first book in the Kyle Evans series. I am excited to follow Kyle in his next adventure, along with Bootles and Sofia, as they explore the universe, and hopefully always stay one step ahead of The Commander.