Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Marco's Seeds by Nathan Smith

Marco's Seeds
By Nathan Smith
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction. Scifi

Marco is a little quirky. He never knew he lived on a spaceship. Or that he had a special mission. But one day, when space debris ripped a hole in his section of the ship, he learned.
He and the other children scramble to fix the damaged ship. The other kids were taught useful repair skills, but all Marco knows about are plants and farming. Not very useful when trying to repair a broken spaceship.
To the other children, Marco is strange and useless, but soon they will learn that he is critical to the mission’s success.

About the Author:
Writing is an addictive thing, especially when you start young. I started writing when I was sixteen. A friend convinced me to write a zombie survival story. When I wrote a foreword for my unpublishable zombie book, I accidentally wrote the best sentence of my life. “As a scribe sold to my mind as a slave
I am free.” This sentence sums up my work and why I write. I hope you enjoy my stories. You can get a hold of me through my DM on Instagram @nathanrsmithwriting or my contact page at I’d love to connect and say “hi.”

#abookforadream  Follow his blog at

What I really think about this novel.

Commentary by Kathy Finfrock

I have to state upfront that Marco's Seeds intended reader is middle-grade. I am not his intended reader. Humor is also a hit and miss. Some people will find a joke funny and others won't. A slippery slope, indeed. 
The pros: Fast action right off the bat and the momentum continues all the way to the end.  You get a good feel for the characters with the exception of their ages. The threat to the characters feels real and appears plausible. The dangers they face is more than the impending doom of the ship.
I have heard it said that if a book invokes an emotion, it is well written. And this book did invoke emotion. 
The cons: How old are these kids? It makes a difference in their behavior which is snarky, zero empathy, self-centered, brats. I can't conceive why they would behave in this manner. They are isolated from each other, don't even know the others exist. And yet, when they do meet, they act as if this new person - new sibling- is nothing more than an inconvenience. Why would they mock a total stranger? I don't get it. 

I had to consult with a younger person. Evelyn is only nine years old. Perhaps too young to get the joke. Again, as a pro, it did invoke emotion from her. As in, it made her angry and it made her afraid. She was angry because of the dad being mean. She didn't think he needed to use the word stupid and she was afraid something bad was going to happen to the kids. She didn't understand why everyone was being mean to Marco. She refused to continue reading it after the first few chapters. 

I think if the reader enjoys The Simpsons kind of humor, they might like Marco's Seed. What the synopsis doesn't tell you is that the parental units are actually robots with a flat computer screen on a
 attached to a pole on wheels. The dad unit gets angry with Marco a lot and is a bit of a fumbling idiot except when he gets mad which begs the questions why is there a disciplinary room with a bed where you can be tied down?  In this age of technology, why does the father unit have negative behavior/frustrated  programming?  Perhaps, it's a humor thing that I'm missing. Perhaps the author was going for a Futurama theme? Quite a popular show, but I'm not a fan. As for the novel Marco's Seeds, I have a bit of a love/hate the story. It might be one of those books that I need to read multiple times to really get it. 

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