Tag Archives: mystery

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel || Blog Tour

Book Title: The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel

Author: Sheela Chari

Publisher: Walker Books US

Release Date: October 6, 2020

Genres: Middle grade, mystery

Book Purchase links:

Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Bookshop

Based on the Peabody Award–winning podcast, this tech-filled adventure series pits intrepid Mars Patel and his outcast friends against a brilliant, enigmatic billionaire as they race to figure out why kids are disappearing from their school.

Mars Patel’s friend Aurora has disappeared! His teachers are clueless. His mom is stressed out about her jobs. But Mars refuses to give up—after all, his own dad disappeared when Mars was a toddler, before he and Ma moved to Puget Sound from India. Luckily, Mars has a group of loyal friends eager to help—smart Toothpick, strong and stylish JP, and maybe-telepathic Caddie. The clues seem to point toward eccentric tech genius (and Mars’s hero) Oliver Pruitt, whose popular podcast now seems to be commenting on their quest! But when the friends investigate Pruitt’s mysterious, elite school, nothing is as it seems—and anyone could be deceiving them. Slick science, corporate conspiracies, and an endearingly nerdy protagonist make this a fresh, exciting sci-fi adventure.

Praise:

Interweaving podcast transcripts, instant message threads, emails and newspaper stories, Chari deftly constructs a mystery that is strong in both plot and character. Mars’s friend group is as diverse as their unique abilities, and their teamwork and loyalty are unshakable. Based on the Peabody Award–winning podcast, fans of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner and Stranger Things will clamor for more of Mars Patel. —School Library Journal (starred review).

Author Bio:

Sheela Chari is the author of THE UNEXPLAINABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF MARS PATEL, based on the Peabody Award-winning mystery podcast. Her other novels include FINDING MIGHTY, a Junior Library Guild Selection and Children’s Choice Award Finalist; and VANISHED, an APALA Children’s Literature Honor Book, Edgar finalist for best juvenile mystery, and Al’s Book Club Pick on the Today Show. Sheela has degrees from Stanford University, Boston University, and New York University, where she received an MFA in Fiction. She teaches fiction writing at Mercy College and lives with her family in New York.

Author Links:

https://sheelachari.com/

My Review:

This book is based on a podcast, sounds fun already? Well, I don’t remember reading a Middle Grade book with an Indian or an Indian-American rep before, so the fact that one of the protagonist- Mars Patel is of Indian ethnicity was so relatable. The use of pronouns and also bullying someone with the wrong pronouns was subtly inserted into the story, but has made a mark. The book is like a fast paced thriller, the kind of which MG kids are sure to enjoy! I really wanted to see more of Mars’ mom, to get to know her. I loved the family dynamic and also the friendships portrayed in the book. Plus, it’s a sci-fi adventure, involving many little drones. I loved the book, can’t wait for the next book in the series!!

Ratings: 4/5

About the Show

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel is a scripted podcast for middle-grade kids performed by middle-grade kids. It is a fun, high-quality serial mystery that can be described as Goonies meets Spy Kids meets Stranger Things for eight- to twelve-year-olds. It was selected as one of the top fifty podcasts of 2016 by the Guardian, was honored with a Peabody Award, and was nominated for two Webby Awards (Best Audio Drama and Best Sound Design/Original Music Score). The show is enjoyed around the world by kids and adults alike. Check out more about the podcast on www.marspatel.com.

Make sure to drop by the other tour stops:


— Suri

Dreaming

In the last couple of weeks, two of Luna’s closest people have texted her, asking her how she was doing, all of a sudden. After a bit of talking, both of them confessed to having seen her in their dreams – but it wasn’t a good one, in both the cases. Typically, Luna is not the kind of person who goes looking for answers – answers to whether these dreams were signs, that something terrible and tragic was to befall upon her! She believed in none of this nonsense.

These two dreams were seen and experienced by people who did not know each other at all, but both of them knew Luna pretty well individually. When Luna had heard the first dream (God was it sad!), all she did was assure the person who saw it, that she was doing well and there was nothing amiss. What else could she do? But when she heard the second dream, curiosity caught hold of her. “You were chased by a serial killer, with some kind of a weapon in a very lonely street, where everything looked dark; and I stood there helpless and crying” – she remembered her friend saying on call. What if these indeed are signs? What if someone is trying to give her hints via her loved ones, to safeguard herself? Suddenly, she wanted to know more.

Luna’s thoughts were interrupted by the loud volume blaring from the speakers of the television.  Since the past few days, the local news channels and newspapers are filled with news articles about a runaway psychopath. The eye witnesses claim that he always carries with him a very clean, sharp and jagged knife. He’s suspected to be responsible for multiple murders in a nearby locality, but the authorities have found no reliable proof yet. If it were in Luna’s hands, she would never have wasted her precious Sunday morning surfing news channels, but currently the remote was in her brother’s hands, so she didn’t complain. She had to unwilling listen to the psychopath’s tale for like the 200th time since it first started surfacing!

Having a bad dream is terrible, Luna was wondering, but waking up with a bad dream and then REMEMBERING it, is the worst! We have to carry that dream with us the entire day, slogging wearily to ward it off; but instead we rather unknowingly, analyse it and picturize it again and again, on a loop. Slowly, we tend to become so anxious that there’s a constant feeling of dread looming above us, like a silent, floating cloud, she concluded.

How I wish that I could tell the seers of such dreams, thought Luna, that dreams are nothing but fragments of our own anxiousness, forming images and stories in our subconcious mental space. But could I tell them that? she asked herself, No way! But why not? She pressed on, maybe, because, in a way, I too wanted to believe otherwise?

After having their breakfast, her brother turned off the television, finally! thought Luna, to have a late-Sunday bath. After he was gone, Luna turned back to reading her book, which she wanted to finish in time – for her online book club discussions. The doorbell rang. Luna wondered who it was – they had very few visitors ever since the lockdown started. She peered through the eyehole, he seems to be some stranger, maybe a new courier man? Luna wondered. She opened the main door. Standing before her was a man approx. 5 ft 4 inches tall. His beard was unshaven and moustache was unkempt. “How can I help you?”, Luna asked him. But he spoke no words. All he did was point downwards. As she couldn’t see what he was actually pointing at, Luna opened the safety-door to have a clear look. Turns out he was pointing at his right wrist, in which he was holding a clean, sharp and jagged knife, that was glistening with some drops of red on it.


— Suri