This review is in English, as the book only exists in English (so far).
Author: JW Patrick; Year of Publication: 2018; Page Count (Print-Version): 279; Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
After a mysterious impact in the dry Oklahoma landscape, three teenagers discover a world where they can do anything they want. Anything at all: Play. Explore. Fly. Destroy. But as a ripple of consequences impact on reality, Sonny, Isla and Dan realise this is far from a game. Do they now have the power to change the real world? Because if they do, they know exactly what they want to do first.
Dirt-poor Sonny Monroe blames the oil company that fracked his family ranch for his problems. Dan Hawk, a Native American from the Chickatawa tribe, has never forgotten who stole his native Homelands. Idealistic Isla Duncan, a Scottish Paralympian junior on a charity handcycle tour, would just like to make the world a better place.
As the three teens attract global enemies and the killings begin, grave doubts divide them: Do they control this new-found power? Or is it controlling them?
If so, what on Earth does The Sandbox want?
I started reading the book based on a different, less representative covertext, and therefore different expectations – more SF / Fantasy elements, less activism. But I am glad it turned out to be this way, it’s a good mix of the two elements.
Sonny and Dan have been close friends for a long time and Isla ends up stranded in their hometown due to a tornado. The three teenagers have very distinct and interesting personalities, which are consistent in their actions throughout the book. Because of that they react and interact very differently to and with The Sandbox – the alien technology which crashed on earth and whose organic interface is now connected to them.
The idea of this technology, this word they can enter, is really interesting. The teenagers discover more and more about it and what they can do with it, how they can impact the real world through it – from just reading books inside this world, where time seems to pass much slower, to save some time regarding homework, to getting involved in much more dangerous situations when they take action against an oil company.
The story is well-written – suspenseful, interesting ideas and characters, the pace of them discovering new things about The Sandbox is great and the developments outside of it seemed realistic enough for me, even if towards the end a bit drastic. The book’s ending is a bit much, but still okay, I think – and a bit open. So far there is only part one, but at the end of the book part 2 and 3 are announced. I’ll read part 2 as well, once it comes out.
My Rating: 8/10 Punkten
Conclusion: Solid book, interesting story and characters, suspenseful, I’d like to know more about The Sandbox, which will hopefully happen in Book 2.