The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X
The Dangerous Days of Daniel X  
The Dangerous Days of Daniel X.jpg
Author(s) James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction novel
Publisher Little, Brown
Publication date July 21, 2008
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 238 pp (first edition, hardback)
Followed by Watch the Skies (July 27, 2009)

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X is a novel by James Patterson and co-author Michael Ledwidge, written in the same vein as his Maximum Ride series. Patterson returns to the realm of science fiction in this novel. It was released on July 21, 2008.



Daniel X, who has no other last name, has the best superpower ever: The power to create. He can create real objects, including people, with only his mind. In addition, he has super-speed (he outran a truck travelling at 100 miles per hour) and super-strength (he can flip a car in a somersault). He is also granted an extra long memory. A classic Mary Sue.

When he was 3 years old, Daniel's parents were brutally murdered right in front of his eyes by a praying mantis-like alien called the Prayer, who came in search of the List of Alien Outlaws on Earth. When Daniel's parents were about to hand it over, the Prayer killed them. Daniel survived only by transforming into a tick and grasping onto the Prayer's dreadlock hair as he fled from the burning house. After he lost his grip on the Prayer and fell off, Daniel vowed to kill the Prayer for the death of his parents, and returned to the site when he was 13 to recover the List.

Twelve years after the murder of his parents, fifteen-year-old Daniel X has taken up the task of his parents as Defender of Earth. In the sewers of Portland, Oregon, he faces and defeats number 19 on the List, Orkng Jllfgna, in hopes of working his way up to number 1: The Prayer. Later, Daniel is confronted by the Portland Runaway Juvenile Unit, and he escapes with the help of his "parents" whom he conjured up using his powers. He then leaves to go to Los Angeles in search of number 6 on his List, a shape-shifting alien named Ergent Seth who resides in Malibu.

On his way to LA, he confronts an agent of Seth's who has a message for Daniel: Don't go to LA. Daniel ignores his command and continues on toward LA. He spends that night in the woods, camping with his "friends": Joe, a motor-mouth and competitive eater; Willy, a stocky and headstrong fighter; Emma, a compassionate environmentalist; and Dana, the love of Daniel's life.

The next day, Daniel arrives in LA. With the help of his parents and "sister" Pork Chop (Brenda), he rents a house. His parents warn him not to go after Seth, because he has never gone after an alien in the Top 10. That night, while he is asleep, Daniel is haunted by one of the many vivid nightmares that he has, in which the Prayer warns him not to go after Seth because the Prayer wants to get him.

The next day, Daniel decides to go to school, a first in Daniel's life; because of his power to telepathically access human knowledge, school was never necessary. At the end of the day, he bumps into Phoebe Cook, who is also new to the school. He walks her home and, following ideas from her mind, asks her out on a date.

Daniel decides to search the city for clues about the whereabouts of Seth, and stumbles in upon a child-slave and drug-dealing operation. He goes to the one in charge of the operation (who is not Seth, but may be a lackey of his) and wipes his mind and makes him believe he is a Pentecostal preacher.

The following day after school, Daniel walks Phoebe to his house, which he finds destroyed by two alien cats. The cats are regents of Seth's, and warn Daniel to leave LA. After attacking him, they flee. Soon after, he is contacted by Seth, who again warns Daniel to leave LA and never come back, or Seth is going to kill him.

The next day, Daniel goes back to school and, so as not to seem too smart, purposely flunks a History test. He literally runs into Phoebe after the test. Phoebe has something to tell Daniel. She feels terrible for keeping secret the reason she had changed schools. A few months before, Phoebe's sister, Allison, had been abducted without a trace off of her own driveway. Daniel suspects it to be the work of Seth. On his way out of the school, he is attacked by some of Seth's henchmen. After incapacitating them, Daniel hurries home, where he finds his mom—only he didn't intentionally create her; he speculates he created her from his subconscious.

Later that day, Phoebe calls Daniel to a coffee shop and gives him Allison's case file, which has details of other abductions that form a pattern, which Daniel describes as forming "an almost-perfect connect-the-dots circle with Malibu at its center." After his house is compromised (again), Daniel feels it is unsafe to return, so he goes to spend the night with Phoebe. They plot to go to Malibu the following day to investigate Allison's disappearance. Phoebe lets him sleep in the closet to avoid detection from her parents.

The next morning, Daniel awakens to find Phoebe missing. He finds Phoebe near the school, but something is wrong. He talks to her, and she transforms, revealing herself to have been Ergent Seth in disguise all along. Seth deactivates Daniel's powers, shoots him in the stomach, and drags him through the desert and into a spaceship. The ship flies away from Earth. Daniel is put into a cell for the duration of the trip. He summons his friends, and they begin reconnaissance. During a poker game with his "family," Daniel figures out that his mother had been pregnant when she was killed, which also killed the unborn Pork Chop.

Daniel is taken to the bridge as the ship comes to Alpar Nok, another planet very similar to Earth; it is Daniel's homeworld, only it has been taken over by Seth and his henchmen, killing or impoverishing most of the inhabitants. Daniel escapes from a landing party and flees to under the wreckage, where the few survivors live. He meets his grandmother, Blaleen, who removes the bullet from his stomach and allows him to rest and heal at her house. After regaining his strength, Daniel goes after Seth again and creates a thousand summoned soldiers, but they eventually fight one-on-one. Daniel misquotes Homer's Iliad by comparing this fight to Hector and Achilles rather than Paris and Menelaus. During the fight, Daniel turns into a tick and enters Seth's head via his ear. He transforms into an elephant inside Seth's head, killing him instantly.

Daniel leaves Alpar Nok and returns to Earth, as it is his duty to defend it.


  • Daniel' or Daniel Hopper – His parents' deaths left him with a list of alien criminals that he is to terminate. His main target is Number 1 on the list, a dreadful alien known as The Prayer. Daniel has the power to create with his mind, but must be focused and calm. In the book Daniel explains, "There's only so much I can create, for a limited period. I have to be really calm, and concentrate like you wouldn't believe. If I'm tired or cranky, forget it—it won't work. Plus there seems to be a mass limit. Or sometimes I seem to run up against a mental block of some kind. One time I tried to create a really cool, flaming red Ferrari, but nothing happened." He can shapeshift and read minds, which makes it easier to terminate all the aliens. He is forced to move from town to town because of some laws he has broken, and he must move to wherever the next alien on the list is living. He doesn't go to school, not until the middle of the book, when he moves to LA. He is very smart, but sometimes he acts dumb, just so he doesn't get made fun of or so that he doesn't gain unwanted attention. Throughout the whole book, he is after Number 6 (Ergent Seth) on the list.
  • Phoebe Cook – In the middle of the book, Seth impersonates her, pretending to be Daniel's girlfriend, thus earning his trust. But one night, while he sleeps in Phoebe's closet as she is dreaming, Daniel reads her mind. The dream is about Seth in a classroom, trying to figure out a confusing problem, and everyone is calling him "dumb-dumb." In the end of the novel, it is revealed that the real Phoebe Cook was one of the humans taken from Earth, and she and Daniel meet near the end of the story.
  • Ergent Seth – Seth for short, he's "Number 6" on Daniel's "list." He is said to be a Vermgypian alien, and is described in the book by Daniel as having "an impossibly narrow, horse-like head, a dead horse's head, covered in slack, bone-white, bloodless skin. The skin was decorated with pea-sized, pus-oozing bumps, like a diseased chicken's." Later, he describes Seth's eyes as "Shiny, bulging, blood-red orbs embedded in the loose skin like larvae." It is also said that Seth has a British accent. He is responsible for many horror movie sequels. Daniel is chasing after this character the entire story, until Seth is killed by Daniel at the end of the book. He is known to be very cranky.
  • Dana – Dana is from Daniel's home planet of Alpar Nok. She, along with Joe, Emma, and Willy, were assumed dead when the planet was attacked, although their bodies were never found. She is often conjured out of Daniel's mind to keep him from getting lonely. Dana has long blond hair and fair skin. She is explained by Daniel as "the girl of his dreams." It is proven throughout the book that they have feelings for each other.
  • Emma – Emma is from Alpar Nok. She, Joe, Willy, and Dana were apart of Daniel's "drang" (an alien word for a group of close friends). She is a self-proclaimed environmentalist, a vegetarian, and an extreme animal lover. She was given the title 'Earth Mother' by the group. She is Willy's younger sister. She is white and has brown hair and brown eyes.
  • Joe – Joe is from Alpar Nok. He is fairly tall and very skinny (even though he eats four times his own body weight). His mouth is always moving; he is either talking or eating. He is the clown of the drang and is constantly joking. He enjoys playing video games and computers.
  • Willy – He is Daniel's wingman. Daniel usually summons Willy for help with machinery, weapons and combat. He never backs down from a challenge and is constantly reminding everyone that there is nothing to fear except fear itself. Willy is Emma's older brother.
  • Brenda (Pork Chop) – She is Daniel's younger sister. When Daniel's mother was murdered, she was pregnant with Brenda; ultimately killing her as well. One of her hobbies is teasing Daniel. When Brenda found out that she was dead and only a figment of Daniel's imagination, she did not take the news well. She cried and Daniel clapped her out of existence, possibly erasing her memory of her new knowledge because her behavior goes back to normal by her next appearance.
  • Blaleen – Daniel's grandmother; she is the mother of Daniel's father Graff. Daniel meets her later in the book on Alpar Nok.
  • Graff - Daniel's father. Killed in prologue of the first book but constantly conjured up by Daniel.
  • Altrelda - Daniel's mother. Also killed in the prologue in the first book.

Literary significance and reception

Jodi L. Israel was fairly critical in her review of the audiobook version of this novel for the Library Journal, saying "Though Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia's reading is well executed—his self-deprecating tone conveying all the insecurities of teenagehood—his talented reading can't save this work from its substandard prose, flat characters, absurd plot twists, and holes large enough to fly an alien battle cruiser through—flaws all exacerbated in audio. Not recommended."[1]

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

It was reported in May 2008 that New Regency Productions obtained the rights to The Dangerous Days of Daniel X.[2][3]

Video Game

In January 2010, James Patterson and THQ released Daniel X: The Ultimate Power for the Nintendo DS.


  1. ^ Israel, Jodi L. (September 15, 2008). "The Dangerous Days of Daniel X". Library Journal 133 (15): 95. ISSN 0363-0277. 
  2. ^ Monika Bartyzel (May 4, 2008). "Regency Grabs the Rights to 'Daniel X' - Cinematical". Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved October 6, 2008. 
  3. ^ "New Regency Takes on Patterson's Daniel X -". May 2, 2008. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved October 6, 2008. 

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