Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mica Elizabeth, Military Brat by Alexis Mills


Being a military brat, Mica is used to moving around but her most recent move to the dry and dusty town of Coyote, Nevada is different than any moves she has had to make in the past. Not only is it made harder with the recent death of her mother, to Mica’s surprise several students at Moapa Valley Middle School have been awaiting her arrival. They seem to know more about her past and family than even she knows or wants to share.

Does Area 51 really exist and could her father truly be working at the renowned military installation? As Mica begins to gather more information, she soon realizes that in the desert, sometimes science fact is stranger than science fiction.

My Review:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mica is a military brat, born and raised. Never one to stay some place long, Mica has avoided making a lot of friends because she knows it won’t last long. When they arrive in Nevada, Mica is ready to start over again, but she isn’t prepared for what she is to discover from George and the others whose parents work for the military: Area 51 exists and her father works there. Will Mica, with the help of her new friends be able to discover the mystery of Area 51?

Every now and then you come across a book that you read and wish you had been able to read it when you were a teenager, because it would have encouraged you, inspired you, or just made you think. Well this is one of those books.

Now, this is not an “alien” book. I know, most people read Area 51 and expect there to be little green, gray or blue men running around saying “Take me to your leader.” But this is not one of those books. This is a nice YA mystery, that also hits on the points of friendship, family, and being able to start over.

I really like Mica as a character. She is a strong character that has a lot of growing up to do, but at times she acts just like an adult. It has to be hard to be a military brat, but she faces it with the same grit that she seems to face everything else. She struggles with the idea that her father is keeping secrets from her, though what parent doesn’t keep secrets from their children.

The play of relationship between Mica and her dad was an interesting concept. In a lot of ways, her dad was trying to treat her more as an adult than a child, which isn’t a bad thing. With the loss of her mother, it looks like her dad is trying to compensate (realistically, it would seem), but when it comes down to it he seems uncertain with what to do. It seems that he knows he can’t treat her completely as an adult but he doesn’t seem to know what else to do. It makes you think about what you might do if you were in this situation as a single parent, constantly moving because of your job with the military.

Personally, I found George to be just plan irritating. I don’t like cocky know-it-alls, and that is definitely how I would define him. I thought calling him “Scarlett” was just the tip of the iceberg needed to take George down a notch, but I’m not as nice as Mica as it would seem. Go figure!

I think the best part of this book, though, is that Area 51 is still a mystery. You don’t see aliens, you don’t see a space ship, or have everything cleared up and discovered about the secrets of Area 51. It still holds the glamour that all us conspiracy buffs liked about this. Though, I think one little green man (even a stuffed toy) might have been a bit funny.

The ending leaves a nice opening into a second book, which is always nice. And almost everything is completely wrapped up in a nice tidy bow, so to speak, so most readers won’t be wondering about things until the next book. There were moments where there was way to much crammed into the novel (I could have done with another 50-100 pages just to help explain a little bit more as some thing were still a bit vague for me), but overall, this is a good book. I do highly recommend this book, and look forward to the second book in this series.

Happy Reading!


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