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Book Review: How I Saved a Planet! by Stephen Quatro

How I Saved a Planet! by Stephen Quatro

Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Comedy/Humor, Young Adult

Grab your space boots, buckle up, and join me in a wacky, out-of-this-world journey you’ll never forget!

After finishing freshman year at college and returning to my depressingly tiny hometown at the butt-end of nowhere, all I’m expecting is a summer full of boredom. I’m certainly not anticipating an alien to show up in my bedroom and ask me to help save his planet.

When Qarl the blue alien (not Carl, he hates that) demands my assistance, it’s clear an adventure is in store. His planet is in danger of being destroyed by the Great Leaders, Asdf and Jkl, and it’s up to me to travel to their lair and convince them otherwise.

It won’t be as simple as it sounds.

How I Saved a Planet! Review

I was compensated with a small amount for my time and effort in reading the book and writing this review. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and are based on my honest personal experience reading the book. Nor did the publisher in any way shape or form ever pressure me to give a positive review.

The quirky and witty How I Saved a Planet! centres on a dejected college student who receives an unexpected visit from an alien named Qarl. Remarkably unusual, the meeting sends the Earth-Human on a crazy interstellar journey to save Qarl’s planet from the evil Great Leaders, Asdf and Jkl. As the improbable hero, he must overcome enormous obstacles, wrestle with his newly acquired knowledge, and explore the secrets of the cosmos.

The protagonist is faced with serious questions regarding his duty, the intentions of his enemies, and the oddities of his alien companion, despite the ridiculousness of his circumstances. The narrative addresses themes of courage, camaraderie, and the limitless possibilities of the cosmos via humour and wonder, leaving readers spellbound by its unique charm.

There is no denying that the writing has a very enjoyable style that combines wit with satire. I couldn’t put the book down thanks to the author’s clever use of humour, which strongly kept me engaged on an entertainment level and had me completely interested. The satirical components provided a fresh take on well-known issues and gave the plot more depth while still fueling the (very) important aspect of entertainment value the story provides.

This made for a gripping and thought-provoking read. The book’s value hence was much increased by this use of humour and satire, which transformed it into a fascinating journey full of wisdom and fun. In my opinion, I think this highlighted the author’s talent for creating a genuinely captivating and enjoyable tale.

I also find How I Saved a Planet! to be perfectly tailored for a young adult audience, and perhaps even suitable for the new adult category, given the protagonist’s collegiate status. Though the target audience is well-matched with the content, I can’t help but think that the cover design might unintentionally convey the wrong message. Although the illustrations are well-done and visually appealing thanks to how polished it is, some readers could mistakenly believe that the book is better appropriate for younger readers. The target audience (young adults) may be turned away thinking the book is too young for them. Just something I noticed.

However, one thing I must admit is that I’m not particularly fond of the extensive use of poetry within the book. Poetry, in general, is not a genre that resonates with me, and it is undoubtedly one of my least favorite forms of literature. The heavy incorporation of poetry in conveying crucial elements of the lore proved somewhat challenging for me to navigate. Personally, this aspect became a point of slight annoyance as it felt like an obstacle to the narrative flow.

However, I acknowledge that this is a subjective perspective, and my aversion to poetry is a matter of personal preference. I recognize that for readers who appreciate and enjoy poetry, this stylistic choice could be a significant strength, adding a layer of artistic expression and depth to the storytelling that enhances the overall reading experience.

Another thing I couldn’t help but notice was some pacing issues that slightly detracted from my overall enjoyment of the book. The narrative’s adventure-heavy nature initially captivated my attention, especially during the setup phase where the plot unfolded with intriguing momentum.

But as the story progressed, I found certain aspects beginning to lag, causing the pacing to feel uneven. The excitement and anticipation that initially propelled the plot forward seemed to diminish as some scenes stretched on, which, unfortunately, dampened the overall reading experience. Despite this, the core potential of the adventure and intrigue elements remained compelling. Suggesting that with a tighter pace, the book could have delivered an even more immersive and engaging journey for readers to enjoy.

If you liked this review and want to see other book reviews like this one, check out my book reviews collection!

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About the Author of How I Saved a Planet!

Though Stephen Quatro feels most at home in his imagination, he also finds himself spending time in New Jersey, where he enjoys writing stories, poetry, and music—and making a mean casserole. He loves to dabble in wordplay and satire, seasoning his works with a generous dose of humor. When he’s not cooking up the next adventure, Stephen is very fond of a good movie, live show, or the occasional game of chess.

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