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I was born and raised in Canton, MA. I currently reside there with a wife who thinks she owns the place, three kids who back talk, three dogs who don't come when called, and I love each with all my heart.
I have a background in Physics and Engineering and I love the Sci in Sci-Fi.
on Jan. 20, 2012 :
I think this is a great young adult book. I enjoyed readint it. Thank you for sharing.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on March 04, 2011 :
I received a free e-book in return for a review. I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. It's aimed for middle school readers but is a fine read for adults. Once I got to the halfway point I couldn't stop til the end. Phelan packs a lot into this book: cloning, human-animal genetic combinations, time travel, a human communicating with animals, and cannibals are all in there.
The time travel bit was interesting, I am not good with physics so I just had to accept the explanation. At the end Colleen is confused by how someone in the future was using technology that, to Colleen, hasn't been invented yet. How had the inventor known when to activate the time travel device unless someone came from the future to warn them? She finally decides it's like the "chicken and egg" problem, and thinking too hard about it would not help things.
The part where Colleen discovers she can talk to animals reminded me a bit of Harry Potter in that she doesn't realize that she's no longer speaking English. The way her gift works is unique and works with many types of animals. The reader watches her frustrations as she struggled to master it.
Some of the content might be hard for young readers to grasp but the basic storyline is easy to understand and it has good qualities. The book has strong themes of friendship, loyalty, trust, overcoming fears, and stopping bullies. I loved Colleen's sidekick Fred the ferret. A good, clean, entertaining book, suitable for younger readers. In conclusion this book was a great read and I would recommend it to folks who like young adult sci-fi. I would be interested in reading future books in the series.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Feb. 20, 2011 :
Flowers from Cannibals is the story of Colleen Colgan, a young teen who is set apart from her peers because she had a brain transplant from a chimp when she was younger. Colleen meets up with a girl who she feels is her opposite—the brave, spunky, mysterious Erin. Together with her new friend and her totally awesome ferret, Fred, Colleen goes on a time-traveling, aborigine-defying adventure. I had a difficult time rating this book. It was a great story, with a good message…and I’m interested to know how the story progresses in the next books. However, the edition I read was an advanced reading copy, and was riddled with grammatical errors which I think is unacceptable for a children’s book. The story also became a little preachy about global warming, which might turn off some adults. (However, the preachy passage is short, and the story is totally worth the preach.) Therefore, I am interested in seeing what happens to Colleen in future books, but hope very much that I read an edited edition next time.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Dec. 16, 2010 :
I would challenge the target age on this one. I am 34, a die-hard reader, and even I had to stop and process things while reading.
That said, I should clarify that I mean that in a positive way. I have no children, and I don't particularly like them either, so I claim this book for adults and young adults.
I love a book that makes me think and I cannot wait for book 2!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Dec. 09, 2010 :
I had to put this book down a few times to think it over. It was an amazingly thought provoking story presented in a young adult format. I think anyone under the age of 14 will have a hard time grasping the entire meaning of what the author skillfully introduced the reader to. In my reviews I do not like to summarize the stories because I believe it means more to the reader to learn the story line for themselves, but I will tell you there are some mature topics covered in the book, not "relationship" topics, but topics based on morality, the environment, and true heroism.
I give Richard Phelan two thumbs up for writing a though provoking story with wonderfully fun characters; Fred is spectacular!! The only thing I wish would have been more of a history of Colleen and her condition. The title include the phrase "Book I", so I do hope that we will meet Collen, Erin, Fred, and Albert either now or in the future!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)