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Project Alpha (Voyagers Series #1)

Project Alpha (Voyagers Series #1)

5.0 2
by D. J. MacHale

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#1 New York Times bestseller D. J. MacHale launches this part sci-fi, all action adventure, multiplatform series. 

Earth is about to go dark. Without a new power source, life as we know it will be toast. A global competition is under way to determine which four kids will join the secret mission that might just save us all. Project Alpha is a contest of


#1 New York Times bestseller D. J. MacHale launches this part sci-fi, all action adventure, multiplatform series. 

Earth is about to go dark. Without a new power source, life as we know it will be toast. A global competition is under way to determine which four kids will join the secret mission that might just save us all. Project Alpha is a contest of physical challenges, mental puzzles, and strategic alliances. The battle is fierce. Who will lead the team? Who will pilot the most complicated space ship ever built? Who will be a friend? An enemy? And how will they survive over a year stuck on a space ship together? 

Once chosen, the Voyagers will journey to the far reaches of space, collecting unique elements and facing unbelievable dangers. The future of our planet is in their hands. Sure, they’ll be the best in the world . . . but can they save the world? 

The action is on the page, on your device, and out of this world! And you don't have long to wait, 6 books are coming all in one year! 

Do you have what it takes to be a Voyager? Find out at VoyagersHQ.com.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With this fast-paced first installment of the Voyagers series, MacHale helps kick off a multiplatform, multi-author project à la the 39 Clues; five subsequent books from Robin Wasserman, Patrick Carman, Kekla Magoon, Jeanne DuPrau, and Wendy Mass will follow, published two months apart. Eight 12-year-olds from around the world have been chosen to compete for four spots in Project Alpha, a deep-space mission to secure a new power source for Earth. (Due to the physical stresses of the trip, no one older than 12 can safely make the journey.) As the competitors face off against (holographic) dinosaurs and try their hands at video-game-like flight simulators, their true natures slowly surface. Once the four winners are chosen, the story skips over the subsequent months of training to the team’s first mission, giving readers a taste of the challenges they will face. While the characters don’t get much fleshing out in this first installment, their relationships, both competitive and connective, provide entertaining banter and conflicts. A slew of twists should keep readers looking forward to volume two. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Patricia K. Landy
The world is going dark. In order to save the planet, eight specially chosen twelve-year-olds participate in a grueling challenge to win their spot in Project Alpha. The contest tests their mental and physical problem solving skills and their ability to work together. The four winners are trained and sent to planet J-16 to accomplish the first step of finding a new power source for Earth. Their adventure is formidable: to extract the tooth of a raptagon, a giant dinosaur. After a daunting battle, they take the tooth, board the mothership, and head off into the galaxy to find the next piece of the puzzle. However, McHale does not lay out such an easy course. Dash is not twelve years old. He is twelve and a half. He cannot survive the stress of the voyage once he turns thirteen so he takes daily shots to keep his metabolism young. Without those shots, he is certain to die and leave the crew without a valuable fourth member. Then a mystery stow-away pops up and he is actually the brains behind the whole project. Meanwhile, the other four, those who did not make the cut, are hot on their trail. McHale not only creates a highly adventurous and riveting plot, he creates an interactive world: readers can go online to follow the characters and be part of the crew and mission. The series is well thought out and quite appropriate for any discussion of climate change, the value of teamwork, and, of course, the motivation behind the four supposedly left behind. Reviewer: Patricia K. Landy; Ages 8 to 12.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—In the very near future, Earth's fossil fuel supply is almost exhausted. Even mandatory daily eight-hour blackouts can only postpone the final catastrophe for a few years. The ultra-secret Project Alpha has identified an extraterrestrial substance that could provide unlimited energy, but the components lie far out in space. No conventional spaceship could bring back the mysterious Source in time to save the planet, but the highly classified Gamma Speed process can shorten the trek to a single year. However, no one over the age of 14 can withstand the metabolic pressure that the Gamma process entails, so the scientists conduct a worldwide search for an elite crew of 12-year-old astronauts. Dash Conroy desperately wants to be one of the squad, not only for the adventure but also for the 10 million dollar prize awarded to each member. But he is joining seven other semifinalists for the final testing at Alpha headquarters, and only four of them can ultimately be chosen. As Dash and his cohorts compete in physical contests, team exercises, and virtual reality combat, they begin to suspect that the Alpha project may not be quite what it appears on the surface. Moreover, there is a sinister counterpart to the Alpha group—and the Omega project has plans of its own for the vital Source. As the first entry in the projected six-book series, this title focuses on Dash and the Alpha team as they train for their mission and experience their first interplanetary adventure on the jungle planet J-16, home to carnivorous alien beasts; giant, dinosaurlike Raptagons; and the first component of the Source. Each upcoming volume will be written by a different author, in the manner of Scholastic's "Infinity Ring" series, and will follow both the Alpha and Omega teams in their dangerous race across the cosmos to complete the Source. Inserted "Visual Analysis" cards for use with the series' website will probably disappear quickly from library copies, but the online activities can be completed without them. VERDICT Quick action, snappy dialogue, and frequent touches of humor will appeal to middle grade science fiction fans.—Elaine E. Knight, formerly at Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
Kirkus Reviews
This series opener has the potential to turn its young readers positively cynical. The titular Project Alpha is designed to solve an energy crisis. The members of the project travel in enormous fleets of SUVs and Humvees and attack helicopters. The kids competing to join the project have to face holographic dinosaurs and gorillas. This seems like a huge waste of power at a time when there are government-mandated blackouts every night to save energy—even at Disney World. And as in any good thriller, the government turns out to be keeping deep secrets. When the man behind the project says, "There is no danger whatsoever," it sounds more than a little ominous. MacHale has thrown in every monster and gadget an adventure fan could want, including spaceships and robots with lasers. But the plot twists are so familiar the action seems a little generic. The characters even have stock soap-opera names like Dash Conroy and Carly Diamond. A robot who speaks in 1980s catchphrases adds some humor ("We will party like it is 1999!"), but it's funny mostly because none of the kids get his references, which means that many in the book's intended audience will probably be likewise clueless. The story is thrilling but rarely surprising. This book may teach readers to distrust the government, but the real fear is that they'll put the novel down halfway through out of boredom. (Science fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Random House Voyagers Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
640L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

D. J. MacHale is the author of the bestselling book series Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space, the spooky Morpheus Road trilogy, and the sci-fi thriller trilogy the SYLO Chronicles. In addition to his published works, he has written, directed, and produced numerous award-winning television series and movies for young people including Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Flight 29 Down, and Tower of Terror. D. J. lives with his family in Southern California. djmachalebooks.com

From the Hardcover edition.

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Project Alpha (Voyagers Series #1) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
Earth is about to run out of power resulting in an 8 hour mandatory nightly blackout. But there has is a possible solution in outer space. There is a mission being put together to have four kids get ingredients to create a power source to save the world. You will meet eight kids with different backgrounds that are going to compete with each other with numerous puzzles and mysteries. The top four will be selected for the mission which ends up having them travel to six different planets gathering things for the mission. But the four kids that don’t make it are not forgotten. There is a secret organization that wants to get the items for themselves. It is a race against time and each other as they try to save the world. I really liked this book. There is a great story that keeps you engaged with a good story and puzzles for the kids to compete with. I really liked how although four kids were chosen the other four are still in the story. This book reminds me of the 39 Clue Series. The book is full of puzzles that the kids have to solve but you can also log onto the website or the app and solve your own puzzles. I think this is a great way to keep your kids interested in the series and keep them on there toes with the challenges. Mind you I liked the puzzles myself. I really like how this is going to be a six book series, since the kids will have to visit six planets to get all the components. But the full series will be released in a year. I love when books like this are released sooner which keep them from slipping the mind once one book is finished. Each book will be written by a different author. I think this is a great way to introduce authors that may have been unknown previously. Over all I loved the story and how the series is lined up for release. I cannot wait to get my hands on book two. I received this book for free from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago