Reviews for Icarus Project


Booklist Reviews 2012 December #1
When her paleontologist father is contracted to examine a supposed mammoth find, an expedition to the Canadian Arctic becomes the adventure of a lifetime for 13-year-old Maya. The last thing most of the team expects to discover is a winged humanoid form preserved in the ice. Is it an angel? A missing link? An alien? The mystery of what the creature is soon becomes secondary to Maya and Kyle, the son of one of the other scientists, when they discover that the humanoid, or "Charlie," is alive. Not only is he alive, he has abilities that make the more unscrupulous members of the expedition want to clone him. Quimby hits all the right notes: Maya's earnest first-person point of view and sense of fair play make her easy to root for, and the inclusion of a boy character as a foil to Maya, along with lively writing and plenty of action, will help this middle-grade novel pull in reluctant readers. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
Maya, thirteen-year-old daughter of anthropologists, is understandably intrigued by the chance to uncover a woolly mammoth. She accompanies her father to the Arctic under these false pretenses, and they agree to help a billionaire benefactor dig up a very different kind of mysterious being. While Quimby weaves in enticing magical elements, the uneven plot and clunky characterization may slow readers down.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #2
Who wouldn't want to find something earth-shatteringly unique while on an Arctic expedition? Itching to make a discovery of her very own, 13-year-old Maya Parson, whose anthropologist mother is often away on another continent doing fieldwork, finally gets to accompany her woolly-mammoth–expert dad on a foray into the icy wilderness. She soon discovers there are backroom politics to the project, including the designs of a resident billionaire funder, his snarky, filmmaking nephew, some distinguished-but-vaguely-suspicious scientists from Russia and Japan and a kindly anthropologist with a son the same age as Maya. When an unexpected discovery is made, Maya is right in the thick of it, trying to prevent the Russian scientist from cloning the newest finding. Meanwhile, the classic myth of Icarus figures heavily into the picture, with its themes of seeking freedom from captivity and the dangers of not heeding parental warnings when it comes to the perils of flying too close to the sun. While Quimby's plot is exuberantly fast-paced and earnest, the first-person narration occasionally strains the believability of a 13-year-old's voice. Limited character development leads to some cartoonish players who fail to evolve, yet readers who fantasize about testing their mettle in the icy wastes will still happily tag along for the ride. Both inventive and contrived. (Fantasy. 9-13) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 December

Gr 5-7--Maya lives and breathes science. Her mother, a respected anthropologist, often travels abroad to study ancient civilizations, leaving the 13-year-old with her father. When her dad, a paleontologist, is asked to lead an expedition in the Arctic to uncover the possible remains of a woolly mammoth, Maya goes along. The expedition is funded by a wealthy adventurer, and he has included a host of international scientists, some with questionable intentions-one has ties to the Russian mob and another plans to take the mammoth's DNA back to Japan to clone it. Kyle, a boy Maya's age, is accompanying his mother, another scientist on the team. When it turns out that there is no woolly mammoth, but rather a unique mystical creature hidden in the ice, Maya and Kyle decide to join forces to save it from further destructive scientific experimentation. With the first half of the novel grounded firmly in the world of science, the transition to the realm of the magical and improbable in the second half is a bit surprising. However, Maya is an earnest and likable character and the plot is fast-paced enough to hold readers' attention. Maya's curiosity, bravery, and desire to do the right thing will resonate with many readers.--Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY

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