The Drake Equation
Noah Grow is your typical middle-schooler, dealing with friends, bullies, awkward crushes, and well-meaning teachers. When Noah’s main hobby — bird-watching — leads him to a mysterious disk, however, things get more complicated. The disk grants him random powers, leads to an alien encounter, and causes all sorts of mayhem. Can Noah and his friends sort all this out before bad things both local and extraterrestrial descend on his quiet little town?
The Drake Equation has a lot going for it. There’s an immensely likable protagonist and his marvelous twin friends, a school life that feels true — particularly the petty weirdness of other kids — and a mystery that really engages the reader. (The resolution of the bully angle is also very well-executed.)
King tosses a lot of balls in the air with this one, keeping the twists fast and furious, but thankfully never overloading the book too much. Noah is suitably overwhelmed, but the reader isn’t.
Unfortunately, the story doesn’t so much conclude as stop, leaving off on a huge cliffhanger that feels more like poor planning than a proper wrap-up. Hopefully King finds a better balance of “to be continued” and story resolution in the next outing.
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