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Trapped: The Prometheus Project    by Douglas E. Richards order for
by Douglas E. Richards
Order:  USA  Can
DNA Press, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Trapped is the first volume of Douglas E. Richard's middle-reader SF series, The Prometheus Project. However, it can stand alone, and doubles as a fun science lesson in different disciplines. Ryan and Regan Resnick are ready for a boring summer after moving from California to Pennsylvania. The move was a result of their parents, both top scientists, being offered a spot on a new research team called The Prometheus Project.

One day, while trying to create entertainment, the two kids overhear a cryptic conversation between their parents and decide to investigate. When they do, they discover that there is more to their new sleepy town than meets the eye. Underground is a massive alien city. Shortly after their discovery, Ryan and Regan are apprehended and taken to their parents who are busy at work inside the city. While there, a generator falls on their mom's head causing severe damage. As the two run for help, they discover that they are trapped in the alien city and that everyone else has disappeared. Now it is a race against time to find a way out, hopefully before it is too late for their mom.

Trapped is an entertaining novel for late elementary, early middle school students, that reads in a flash. The adventure the Resnick kids have is entertaining, and while the book is also educational, the science portion is covered in a relaxed and exciting way. To get out of the alien city, the children must use their knowledge of basic science, and they learn more complex theories as they travel around the city. Richards does all of this in a non-threatening manner that will not scare off kids looking for entertainment. While Trapped provides plenty of that, it also hides plenty of learning.

Even though Trapped is the first in The Prometheus Project series, it can stand entirely on its own with a strong beginning, middle, and end. However, readers will know that many more adventures must await Ryan and Regan in the alien city and thus can look forward to the next installment.

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