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4.0 5
by Walter Jury, Sarah Fine

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A riveting, fast-paced adventure, Scan is a clever alien thriller with muscle and heart.

Tate and his father don’t exactly get along. As Tate sees it, his father has unreasonably high expectations for Tate to be the best—at everything. Tate finally learns what he’s being prepared for when he steals one of his dad’s odd tech


A riveting, fast-paced adventure, Scan is a clever alien thriller with muscle and heart.

Tate and his father don’t exactly get along. As Tate sees it, his father has unreasonably high expectations for Tate to be the best—at everything. Tate finally learns what he’s being prepared for when he steals one of his dad’s odd tech inventions and mercenaries ambush the school, killing his father in the process and sending Tate on the run from aliens who look just like humans. 

Even with all he knows like how to defend himself with useful tools made out of bubblegum, Tate fears he’s still inadequate.  With the help of his girlfriend and estranged mother, all Tate can really do is keep moving and ensure his father’s invention stays out of the hands of his pursuers and that his father didn’t die in vain.

“Car chases, explosions and action galore—awesome.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A high-octane thriller.”—Publishers Weekly

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fine (the Guards of the Shadowlands series) joins movie producer and first-time author Jury to deliver a high-octane thriller, first in a duology, about a young man trained from birth to uphold a family responsibility he knows nothing about. When 16-year-old Tate Archer swipes a mysterious invention from his father’s lab, he inadvertently sets off a multi-faction hunt with devastating results. It seems that aliens live among us and actually make up a significant portion of the populace; this device can identify who’s human and who’s “H2.” With humans and aliens desperate to obtain the device, Tate and his companions, including his girlfriend Christina and his long-absent mother, are thrust into an intense, paranoid situation where no one can be trusted. Tate, a polyglot martial artist skilled in making improvised weapons, is the ideal teen action hero, and Christina is no slouch herself. The story starts strong, but weakens once the heroes find temporary safety in a remote compound filled with human survivalists. However, the cinematic approach and constant action make this a satisfying page-turner, albeit one with a cliffhanger. Ages 12–up. Agent: New Leaf Literary & Media. (May)
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Lynne Farrell Stover
Tate Archer is a bright, athletic, compassionate high school junior with a lot of “daddy issues.” His father, a brilliant and disciplined man, is raising Tate alone and has extremely high expectations for his only child. Tate, resentful of his father’s insistence that he be physically perfect, fluent in many languages, tech savvy, and not let distractions (such a girlfriend) interfere with his academics, is starting to rebel. As it turns out, a simple act of defiance will result in his father’s death, the discovery that many humans are not who they think they are, and the possibility of an interspecies power struggle resulting in a global war. In order to save himself and try to correct his gross mistake, Tate finds himself in a situation in which he and his girlfriend, Christina—along with Mitra, his estranged mother—are running from a self-serving organization that wants the technology he took from his father’s laboratory. A thriller at its core, this book is full of mystery and intrigue, with some social commentary and science fiction thrown in for good measure. Massive explosions, deadly shoot-outs, and harrowing escapes make this an exciting read for boys. The characters, as seen through the main character’s eyes, tend to be superficial and stereotypical. It should be noted that Tate uses strong language in his narration. This book ends with a colossal cliff-hanger, leaving the reader wondering what the future holds for Tate, the women in his life, and mankind in general. Reviewer: Lynne Farrell Stover; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Typical teen Tate consistently argues with his dad about not being able to have a normal life: Why can't he have a girlfriend? Why did he start learning chemistry at age five? Why must he learn so many languages? One day he breaks into his father's super secret lab and finds a cool, scanner-like gadget that glows blue when he waves it over himself and red for his girlfriend. Bringing the contraption to school results in being attacked by crazy strangers and the death of his father who was trying to protect him. With his dying breath, the scientist reveals that the human race has been infiltrated by aliens who have been breeding with humans, and few "pure" humans are left, including Tate himself. Now the teen is on the run, not sure who to trust. With the help of his mother, possibly alien girlfriend, and the advanced skills in science and fighting he has acquired over the years, the protagonist tries to figure out the secret behind his father's invention. This is a fast-paced, very readable sci-fi novel solidly aimed at young adults who aren't into "bug-eyed aliens" tales but love good suspense stories. Jury and Fine place the narrative firmly in our universe with vague hints of otherness and lots of fights, explosions, and the occasional tame love scene. Readers know only what Tate knows and will enjoy the fun of trying to figure out the mystery. A fun, escapist novel with a cliffhanger ending. A solid choice for reluctant readers.—Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Tate Archer stumbles into a secret intergalactic conflict. Frederick Archer insists that his son learn multiple languages, math, science and self-defense—all in the name of some mysterious family responsibility. Tate rebels by sneaking into his father's lab and borrowing an invention, a scanner. The next thing Tate knows, he and his girlfriend are on the run from police and secret-agent types. His father—before paying the price for Tate's mistake—spills the family secret: Aliens indistinguishable from humans invaded 400 years ago, systematically infiltrated powerful positions and are outbreeding humanity. Only one-third of the population is biologically human. Indeed, most aliens think they're human; their central organization ruthlessly guards their secret. The Archers are part of a coalition of human families in the know trying to preserve humanity. Tate puzzles out his father's scanner while dodging aliens and discovering other coalition members' unpleasant truths. Untrustworthy adults force Tate to solve his own problems—his skill with improvised, household-materials chemistry allows him to do so explosively, alongside his competent, quick-thinking girlfriend. The chemistry applications are delightful, but bio-geeks might be skeptical about the mechanics of the invasion. The prose sometimes overnarrates, pairing showing with redundant telling, but action keeps the plot moving. The resolution casts doubt on everything Tate and readers think they know, setting up for a sequel. Car chases, explosions and action galore—awesome. (Science fiction. 12 & up)
From the Publisher
Praise for Scan:

"A high-octane thriller...the cinematic approach and constant action make this a satisfying page-turner."—Publishers Weekly

"A thriller at its core... Massive explosions, deadly shoot-outs, and harrowing escapes make this an exciting read for boys."—VOYA

"Car chases, explosions and action galore—awesome."—Kirkus Reviews

"A sci-fi book that reads as fast as a locomotive—and the action is just as nonstop. Be forewarned  before you begin to read—you won’t be able to put it down until the very last page.”—Examiner.com

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"This novel demands a sequel... a good choice for teen readers seeking action and thrills."—Library Media Connection

Meet the Author

Walter Jury works in the film industry. Scan is his debut novel.

Sarah Fine is a clinical child pyschologist and the author of Sanctum, the first book in the Guards of the Shadowlands series.

Luke Daniels has narrated over 250 audiobooks, been the grateful recipient of 13 Earphones awards, and 3 Audie nominations. His work ranges from Kerouac to Updike, Nora Roberts to Ed McBain, Dean Koontz to Philip K. Dick. His background is in classical theatre and film. He has performed at repertory theaters around the country, but now he resides in the Midwest with his pack.

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Scan 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Short review: it was a great book, I found it hard to put this book down! Their is so much action in this story is amazing! I can't wait for the second in the series.
BooksAplenty More than 1 year ago
Fast-paced, gritty, and intense Tate's father is an inventor of weapons and tech gadgets. When Tate takes one of his father's strange devices to school, a deadly battle for the scanner begins. Both sides have nefarious intentions, both are prepared to kill. One side is human. The other side is aliens... who look like humans. This is a seriously action-packed YA alien thriller. Scan focuses on a device that reveals who among us is human and who is alien. The story is complicated by a romance between the protagonist (a human) and his hot girlfriend (an alien). Both characters hold their own with explosives, traps, and fight scenes. Scan is populated by a great many chase scenes, gun fights, and explosions, alongside awkward teen romance, no-one-understands-me angst, and overly convenient MacGyver skills. Trapped in Walmart with a team of murderous aliens after you? No worries - we teenagers can make some explosives in just 5 minutes. And they will work perfectly. You might be wondering - Who are these aliens? How did the human families find out about them and keep their blood "pure?" Why do the aliens look just like humans? Even though I have finished the book, I'm still wondering all of these things, too. In short, the action was plenty actiony, but the world was very very flat. This action-packed book will make great summer reading for the high school set (lots of cursing and making out), but the plot holes and thin world development left me unsatisfied.
woven More than 1 year ago
Before I started reading Scan, I expected it to have action and suspense. But I wasn't fully prepared for just how nonstop the action would be! There was car chases and crashes, explosions, gun fights, and so much more. It was nerve-racking yet exciting, and I could not wait to find out what would happen to the characters and how the book would end. Throughout the majority of his life, Tate's had to endure rigorous training in combat and master as many subjects and languages as he could all because that's what his father wanted. Tate doesn't know why his father puts him through this, and since both of his parents refuse to tell him, it unsurprisingly causes tons of friction between them. Once Tate finds out the truth, though, he has to use all the knowledge and skills he's learned in order to survive and protect his loved ones. I couldn't help but to be just as frustrated as Tate was with his parents. I didn't feel like they had been fair to him, keeping all kinds of secrets and information from him that would have been really helpful to know as soon as the chaos started. But as the story went on and things became more and more dangerous and complicated, I began to realize right along with Tate that it was necessary and for his own good. He probably would have been blinded by his beliefs and wouldn't be as good of a person as he is now had he known everything from the very beginning. If you're wondering what Tate's father had been hiding from his son, well, it was lots of things. But what it all involved was...ALIENS! Aliens that arrived on Earth about 400 years ago and look exactly like humans. But what started off the unfortunate chain of events was a small device, a scanner, Tate stole from his father that can reveal who is a human and who is an alien. Both sides wanted it badly, and while you would think the aliens were the evil ones, it wasn't that simple. Everyone seemed to have their own agenda, and like Tate, I didn't know who to trust! Even by the end, I still didn't know who the real enemy was, which was something I really liked because not all humans were good just like not all aliens were bad. One other thing I would like to mention is the importance of the women in Tate's life. I'm glad that Tate's girlfriend Christina and his mother were involved with the mission of protecting the scanner. Tate's skills and resilience helped him a lot, but I don't think he would have made it without them at his side. They were tough, smart, and resourceful, and together they made an awesome team! I especially adored Christina. She didn't have the training Tate and his mother had, but she knew how to hold her own. I loved how much she was willing to help them, even when she was hurt or terrified. As for Tate and Christina's relationship, it was sweet and obvious that they cared deeply and felt strongly for each other. But because of what they were going through, they also had plenty of tense and uncomfortable moments. I hope they are able to overcome whatever issues they may have because I really want them to stick together. Walter Jury and Sarah Fine have a written a truly thrilling and suspenseful story that had me on the edge of my seat till the very end. I have no idea what's in store for Tate, his mother, and Christina in the next book, but I can't wait to find out. If you're looking for a smart, action-packed book, you need to get your hands on a copy of Scan!
JenLBW More than 1 year ago
Scan felt like a really solid book from the beginning. I liked the writing, the plot and the characters. The book is definitely traditional Sci-Fi but it also is a thriller. It had good pacing and interesting storylines. As well as answering some questions but leaving others for the rest of the series. I love the relationship between Tate and Christina because of two solid it is. From the beginning they are in things together. They have some bumps in the road but they work things out. I love that they are able to admit when they are wrong. I really liked the plot of the novel. Aliens have invaded Earth but not suddenly. It’s actually been a while since they have been on the planet have integrated themselves with humans. In fact humans have become the minority because almost everyone has at least some alien blood in them. The humans that are pure have formed families. Kind of like their own little human mafia and therefore marry each other in order to keep the human race pure. Most people don’t even know that they are H2 (which is what they call the aliens) besides the families there is a ruling set of aliens that have taken over the government, police and so forth and what the integration to continue without a hitch. Tate’s father has invented something important. A scanner that can tell what your genetic makeup is. Both sides want the device in order to use it to their own advantage. Which can be good or bad depending on what you believe in. Tate has to protect it and navigate whom he should trust.  I liked all the characters in Scan. Tate is trained from birth by his father in order to be survivor and fighter. He definitely has issues with his parents and his relationships with them because they kept him in the dark. Waiting for the right time to fill him in. Tate is smart and clever and uses Science as a weapon. I love how he can make things out of ordinary products. Using chemicals and how they react when mixed with one another. Christina is a pretty kick butt girl. She’s loyal and protective of Tate. She doesn’t have to go on this adventure with him but she does. She’s also really clever as well. Tate’s mom turns out to be pretty awesome and I even like the villains. All the characters are well developed and flushed out. Even ones we know for a short period of time. I really like Scan and if you are looking for a good YA Sci-fi this is a great book to pick up. I’m looking forward to the second book to find out what happens next. We were left with a bit of cliffhanger at the end.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Scan by Walter Jury and Sarah Fine Book One of the Scan series Publisher: Putnam Children's Publication Date: May 6, 2014 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): Tate and his father don’t exactly get along. As Tate sees it, his father has unreasonably high expectations for Tate to be the best—at everything. Tate finally learns what he’s being prepared for when he steals one of his dad’s odd tech inventions and mercenaries ambush the school, killing his father in the process and sending Tate on the run from aliens who look just like humans.  All Tate knows--like how to make weapons out of oranges and lighter fluid--may not be enough to save him as he’s plunged into a secret inter-species conflict that’s been going on for centuries. Aided only by his girlfriend and his estranged mother, with powerful enemies closing in on all sides, Tate races to puzzle out the secret behind his father’s invention and why so many are willing to kill for it. A riveting, fast-paced adventure, Scan is a clever alien thriller with muscle and heart. What I Liked: I am three for three, when it comes to LOVING Sarah Fine's books! That's talent right there - the fact that I've really, really liked three separate books of hers, of two different series. I have her fourth full-length novel, Of Metal and Wishes, and I'm pretty excited about reading that one. This book is completely in Tate's point-of-view (first person), and I truly enjoyed reading from his perspective. The book begins with Tate losing in the semifinals of wrestling tournament, and dreading the weight of his father's anger and disappointment. Tate wants to spend time with his girlfriend and scale back a little with the insane workout and education regimen that his father has him doing. A stupid mistake is what brings hell on earth. Tate goes into his father's lab, steals a piece of technology, and brings it to school. It's not long before Tate, his girlfriend, and his mother (whom he hasn't seen in quite some time) are on the run from people who want the scanner back. This book is extremely science-fiction-based, and I absolutely love this. Tate's father is a scientist, his mother is a scientist, and Tate himself is a science genius. Of course, Tate uses his science knowledge to play silly (but brilliant) pranks in school. Tate's extensive educational training comes in handy many, many times in this books, and I loved that Jury and Fine included them in the scenes.  This book is also considered a thriller, which I think is highly accurate. I love the fast pace of the story, the way the plot kept moving and moving. No one part of the book was particularly slow or extremely fast - the overall pacing was excellent. When books drag in places, it makes it hard to keep reading. I had no such problem with this one. I really like Tate, as the protagonist and hero of the story. He is very intelligent, as well as loyal, cautious, and headstrong. I feel like I would totally crush on him, if I knew him in real life. Athletic, muscular, wicked, AND brainy? That's one toxic combination - my favorite. I also liked the supporting characters - Christina, Mitra, George, and several others. Jury and Fine did a great job of developing each character, as well as keeping the amount of characters low, so that readers wouldn't get insanely confused with names and personalities and whatnot. I liked Christina and Tate together, even if they have things they need to work out.  The overall issue of this book deals with aliens who look like humans. The human population is about one fourth of what it is right now, and the rest are aliens. However, most of the human-looking aliens on the Earth don't know that they're aliens. So that makes it difficult to completely hate the aliens - most of them have no idea that they are aliens. How can you annihilate a species, when everyone (including many of them) think they are the same? Overall, I am seriously happy and impressed with this book. The alien theme is quite catchy this year and last year, but I'm okay with that, because I LOVE science fiction, and you can't do aliens without science fiction. I love that Jury and Fine make this book very, very realistic, instead of playing it down and making it seem more paranormal or supernatural (NOT contemporary, basically). I have been so excited to read this book, and I'm pleased that it turned out to be amazing! What I Did Not Like: There wasn't much that I really didn't like in this book. It flies by and I was interested the entire time. There were questions that I had as I was reading, and at the end, like why exactly the scanner was THAT important, if all it did was... well, what it did. But I'm hoping that my questions will be answered in the sequel, so I'm not going to worry about it too much! Would I Recommend It: If you like science fiction novels, then I would highly recommend this book! Don't miss it if you are a science fiction fan. If you're not a science fiction person, I would still recommend it. The story is fast-paced and quite intriguing, so it's easy to get caught up in the craziness, and want to know what happens next. I was really excited to read this book for months, and I'm glad I was not disappointed! Yay for that. Rating: 4 stars. What a fun ride! I definitely cannot wait to read the second book in the series.