SciFi Book Review: Escape from the Pipe Men!

Escape from the Pipe Men! by Mary G. Thompson

Thirteen-year-old Ryan Hawthorn has spent his life on display as a human exhibit in the multi-eyed Pipe Men’s intergalactic zoo. When his father is accidentally poisoned, it’s up to Ryan and his seven-year-old sister, Becky, to scour the universe for the antidote. Along the way, they encounter many strange creatures—from the doglike Hottini to the spindly-legged, hairy Xaxor—and learn that the Pipe Men (or, as Becky calls them, “overgrown drainpipes”) are not kindly overlords, as they had been led to believe. It’s not only the humans who are planning to rebel!

Though they live on Earth, Ryan’s family are the only ones who know about the Pipe Men and other aliens. Thompson’s universe and characters felt a bit like L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, where children visit unique aliens and young Becky is a genius intellect. The characters are vivid and eccentric.

Escape from the Pipe Men! is a fun and wild ride through space for young readers. It has the feel of a cartoon movie from Pixar, quirky and funny. With plenty of adventure, suspense, and humor – this fast-paced science fiction novel is exciting from start to finish.