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Scan Hardcover – May 1, 2014

4.1 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Scan Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—Typical teen Tate consistently argues with his dad about not being able to have a normal life: Why can't he have a girlfriend? Why did he start learning chemistry at age five? Why must he learn so many languages? One day he breaks into his father's super secret lab and finds a cool, scanner-like gadget that glows blue when he waves it over himself and red for his girlfriend. Bringing the contraption to school results in being attacked by crazy strangers and the death of his father who was trying to protect him. With his dying breath, the scientist reveals that the human race has been infiltrated by aliens who have been breeding with humans, and few "pure" humans are left, including Tate himself. Now the teen is on the run, not sure who to trust. With the help of his mother, possibly alien girlfriend, and the advanced skills in science and fighting he has acquired over the years, the protagonist tries to figure out the secret behind his father's invention. This is a fast-paced, very readable sci-fi novel solidly aimed at young adults who aren't into "bug-eyed aliens" tales but love good suspense stories. Jury and Fine place the narrative firmly in our universe with vague hints of otherness and lots of fights, explosions, and the occasional tame love scene. Readers know only what Tate knows and will enjoy the fun of trying to figure out the mystery. A fun, escapist novel with a cliffhanger ending. A solid choice for reluctant readers.—Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ

From Booklist

TV star MacGyver lives on for a new generation in this cinematic thriller. When Tate steals a high tech gadget from his father’s lab, he never imagines that his little stunt will leave his father dead, much less start an intergalactic war. Now Tate is on the run, one of a few people who know humanoid aliens have been taking over the world for centuries, and he has got the only piece of technology that can differentiate the species. To survive, Tate will have to stay one step ahead of the aliens and figure out whom he can trust; even The Fifty, a secret organization of families with pure human lineage who are dedicated to fighting the invasion, are not all they appear to be. The science isn’t always clear, and some plot points are murky, but readers will be so caught up in the tension-filled chase scenes—and Tate’s ability to create volatile weapons from oranges and lighter fluid—that they won’t notice. The cliff-hanger ending will have readers clamoring for the next installment in this exciting series. Grades 9-12. --Summer Hayes
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (May 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399160655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399160653
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #972,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Good:

-This well written book pulled me in and grabbed my attention from the first chapter and kept me reading late into the night.
-The action was non stop. It never let up which made putting the book down near impossible.
-The main character of Tate is completely believable. A very smart and athletic teen who still makes inappropriate choices at times, but manages to handle an incredibly difficult situation with amazing aplomb.
-The supporting characters are also key to Scan’s success. Christina especially shines as she selflessly stands by Tate’s side, despite not always being sure of where she stands with him. She must be going through so much inner turmoil of her own, yet without her strength I doubt Tate would have lasted a day.
-The MacGyver moments. I loved Macgyver when I was a kid (Yes I am dating myself…lol) And there were just enough moments sprinkled throughout Scan when Tate pulls his own MacGyver moods to make me feel nostalgic.
-This book is more than just action and aliens. It makes one think: What does it mean to be human?

The Not So Good:

-Love the cover, but I don’t quite feel that it represents this book as well as it should, perhaps it’s foreshadowing for things to come?
-The Cliff Hanger! Now we need to wait until 2015 to see what happens!

Final Thoughts:

I whipped through this book in no time and enjoyed every minute. An action packed science fiction read with a smidge of romance, a lot of courage and ingenuity, and some crazy survivalists, Scan is sure to appeal to a wide variety of reader and even some non readers. And if you need a good palate cleanser in between other reads, Scan fits the bill perfectly.

NOTE: Review copy rcvd from publisher in exchange for this honest review.
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Format: Paperback
So, to agree with a lot of the other reviews: Yes a non-stop guy action adventure with aliens and kisses.
That said, some issues I think the others might have missed. Some... inconsistencies...
1) It should be noted that if two creatures can interbreed, they are the same species, regardless of different genetics. Thus H1 and H2 are the same species.
2) There is a great deal of 'much ado about nothing' in this book. If the differences between H1 and H2 are so small that no one seems to be able to figure them out, then who cares? Why would they care? The book seems to be making some sort of wierd anti-racist point, but the whole issue in racism is that you CAN see some differences!

3) How do they figure out how many H1 and H2 are there? Taking statistics is difficult in the best of circumstances, but here we have two groups that are impossible to tell apart, but somebody is able to count them??
4) Assuming that the rest of the book is correct, there is a huge hole in the whole 'fifty families' ethos. In addition to promoting marriages among humans, they would also be strongly promoting having a lot of children. In this light the breakup of the father's marriage makes no sense, nor does the fact he only had the one child. Staying with, and having more children with, one's wife would be a prime goal, not some modern extra.
5) The genetics of the book don't work. I suppose this falls under the ageis of 'suspending disbelief', but the idea that every combination of H1 and H2 produce and H2 fails the genetic test. Even assuming that H1 is recessive, after a couple of generations the mixed genetic pairs would start throwing recessive recessive combinations.
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Format: Kindle Edition
You’re looking at a girl who can’t read a science fiction book without being half bored to death. I don’t know why! I just never seem to be able to concentrate enough to grasp what’s actually going on. I think sci-fi isn’t the genre that “clicks” with me.

However there was something about Scan that definitely clicked with me.

Tate’s father has always trained him to be “prepared”. Prepared for what, exactly? Tate never knew. Until the day his father is shot and Tate discovers that an alien invasion is taking place.

What I liked about this story is the fact that everything seemed so believable. There was nothing I couldn’t grasp, and it was honestly very interesting. The alien concept was so different than what I’m used to. You hear “alien” and think of creatures with giant heads and green skin. Here we get a whole different take on what “aliens” are.

Tate is a character that I really really liked. He was smart in every sense of the word, and yet he didn’t brag about it. He didn’t feel presumptuous when he said he could speak more than 10 languages. I really liked that about him. Tate is so imaginative and inventive when it comes to survival. He made a weapon out of oranges. ORANGES! I really loved every second where he would create new weapons and inventions in desperate situations.

“When you touch something, your skin leaves behind all sorts of stuff- amino acids, isoagglutinogen, potassium, and a bunch of other compounds. [...] All it took to gather the fingerprint was a lightbulb, some foil, a bit of superglue, this strip of tape, and some vodka.”

I also really enjoyed his relationship with Christina. We finally see the relationship through his eyes.
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