The Odds Are Against Us

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
194 Pages
Reviewed on 12/15/2018
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Author Biography

Maggie Daniels is a professor for George Mason University within the College of Education and Human Development. Maggie has conducted extensive applied research in Washington, D.C. and has a combination of over 100 publications and presentations to her credit. Maggie's hobbies include swimming, mountain biking, and reading.

Matt Michel is a Professional Engineer in the aerospace industry. He was responsible for the Thrust Vector Control system on the Antares Launch Vehicle used to resupply the International Space Station and is currently designing the first attempt at geosynchronous rendezvous and capture of satellites located 25,000 miles from Earth. Matt enjoys writing projects with his wife, mountain biking, and coaching youth sport teams.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Strxia: The Odds Are Against Us is a children’s fantasy/science fiction novel written by Maggie Daniels and Matt Michel. The Bridgeport County Youth Association was getting concerned about the scarcity of kids actually interested in playing baseball anymore, so much so that just about any kid who wanted to play would have no problem getting chosen for the AAA league. The Association’s new coach, Scott Mirkana, who had actually played for the majors, had no issue with drafting those players that no other coach wanted. The others wondered what his strategy was, but he left the meeting with an air of nonchalance. By the fourth practice, Mirkana’s team was learning to cope with Assistant Coach Beck’s abrasive coaching style and had already nicknamed him Coach Bark. Mirkana had four team members he was particularly interested in: Seth was a gifted and intuitive mathematician who saw the world in terms of numbers and measurements; Alex was probably the fastest young runner he had ever seen; Jared was a pitching wunderkind and Chase was a natural at anything mechanical, a gift he had inherited from his grandfather. The four seemed to have absolutely nothing in common until Mirkana sent them to the Snack Shack with some rather strange directions.

Strxia: The Odds Are Against Us introduces kids to elementary aspects of physics and other STEM subjects, but don’t tell them that. Instead, let them find out while entranced in an exciting and unpredictable story that melds baseball and interplanetary action and adventure as the four teammates set out upon a crucial and seemingly impossible mission. The authors’ plot actually shows that there are real life applications to the esoterics of science and technology, and the way Alex and her fellow teammates use their talents and work together to make things happen is marvelous to see. Along the way, the reader gets a grand introduction to some of the more confusing aspects of physics, and suddenly those fearsome concepts don’t seem quite so difficult after all -- at least that was my experience. The plot is a grand one, the characters are credible and finely delineated, and the action makes this book virtually impossible to put down. Strxia: The Odds Are Against Us is most highly recommended.