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Voyage of the Dogs

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This edge-of-your-seat action-packed story is Homeward Bound—set in space! SOS. Laika damaged. Human crew missing. We are the dogs. We are alone. Lopside is a Barkonaut—a specially trained dog who assists human astronauts on missions in space. He and the crew aboard the spaceship Laika are en route to set up an outpost on a distant planet. When the mission takes a disastrous This edge-of-your-seat action-packed story is Homeward Bound—set in space! SOS. Laika damaged. Human crew missing. We are the dogs. We are alone. Lopside is a Barkonaut—a specially trained dog who assists human astronauts on missions in space. He and the crew aboard the spaceship Laika are en route to set up an outpost on a distant planet. When the mission takes a disastrous turn, the Barkonauts on board suddenly find themselves completely alone on their severely damaged ship. Survival seems impossible. But these dogs are Barkonauts—and Barkonauts always complete their mission.


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This edge-of-your-seat action-packed story is Homeward Bound—set in space! SOS. Laika damaged. Human crew missing. We are the dogs. We are alone. Lopside is a Barkonaut—a specially trained dog who assists human astronauts on missions in space. He and the crew aboard the spaceship Laika are en route to set up an outpost on a distant planet. When the mission takes a disastrous This edge-of-your-seat action-packed story is Homeward Bound—set in space! SOS. Laika damaged. Human crew missing. We are the dogs. We are alone. Lopside is a Barkonaut—a specially trained dog who assists human astronauts on missions in space. He and the crew aboard the spaceship Laika are en route to set up an outpost on a distant planet. When the mission takes a disastrous turn, the Barkonauts on board suddenly find themselves completely alone on their severely damaged ship. Survival seems impossible. But these dogs are Barkonauts—and Barkonauts always complete their mission.

30 review for Voyage of the Dogs

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/09/30/... Middle Grade fiction isn’t an age category I typically go for, but I’m a big fan of Greg Van Eekhout and when I saw the premise of Voyage of the Dogs I just couldn’t resist. This book was just too darn cute! Billed as The Incredible Journey set in space, the story follows a team of four scrappy and adorable canine Barkonauts as they travel aboard the colonization ship Laika as companions and specially trained helpers to the 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/09/30/... Middle Grade fiction isn’t an age category I typically go for, but I’m a big fan of Greg Van Eekhout and when I saw the premise of Voyage of the Dogs I just couldn’t resist. This book was just too darn cute! Billed as The Incredible Journey set in space, the story follows a team of four scrappy and adorable canine Barkonauts as they travel aboard the colonization ship Laika as companions and specially trained helpers to the human crew. Thanks to technological advancements, the vocalizations and behaviors of dogs can be translated into human language, allowing communication between the two species. As a result, dogs can also be taught to do so much more. Our protagonist is a terrier mix named Lopside, who fought hard against the odds to make it into the Barkonauts program despite his small size. His team also consists of Daisy, the Great Dane puppy who is already as strong as an ox; Bug, the Corgi genius who helps in Engineering; and Champion, the captain’s loyal Golden Retriever who also serves as leader of the Barkonauts. The four of them are especially close to Roro, their human handler who recruited and trained them for their mission in space. Their destination is Stepping Stone, a planet far outside of our solar system where the Laika hopes to establish a colony by first seeding it with agricultural crops and livestock. The book begins with the crew preparing to go into hibernation for the long journey. Lopside is nervous about going into cryosleep, but is comforted by Roro who tells him all will be well. But when the dogs wake up, they find that everything has gone wrong. The Laika is severely damaged, the ship empty save for the four of them. Food, water, and supplies are also low, yet they are still a long way off from reaching Stepping Stone. Any way you look at it, the situation seems hopeless, and indeed, command back home has already given up on them, declaring the mission a total loss. Still, Lopside is unwilling to accept defeat. Alone with just their wits, he and his fellow Barkonauts must work together to survive and find out what happened to the human crew. That’s because they are good dogs, and good dogs always complete their mission. I have to say, despite initial reservations that this book would be too childish, I actually ended up enjoying it a lot. Yes, it is cutesy and has talking dogs, but I was also impressed with the story and many of its deeper and more poignant themes. Obviously, at the heart of it is the idea of Man’s Best Friend and the enduring relationship between humans and dogs. It’s a bond that has been around since the beginning of time, making me wonder why it isn’t featured more prominently in space colonization sci-fi. Dogs are our comfort and joy, our helpers and our family—of course people would want their canine companions along with them for their journey to a new life on a new world. The story also acknowledges how humans and dogs have evolved together, a process which has shaped society and culture, so it was interesting to see that idea expanded to technology as well. Still, while the dogs here may be ultra-intelligent and highly anthropomorphized, I was glad to see them retain many of their doggie traits. Lopside does rocket science, but still dreams of chasing rats. The Barkonauts communicate verbally with each other, but still nothing beats a good butt sniff. These and many more examples are what gives this book its charm and humor, which I’m sure any dog lover will be able to appreciate. Voyage of the Dogs was overall a feel-good read, with appeal to wide audiences while staying age-appropriate in the 8-12 range. A couple topics with the potential to be mildly upsetting to sensitive readers include Lopside’s backstory, which heavily implies he was abandoned by his previous owners. Fortunately, he is eventually rescued by Roro, who nominates him for Barkonauts training after witnessing his unfailing optimism and perseverance. Then there is the true story of Laika, the dog who was launched by the Soviets on a one-way trip to space aboard Sputnik 2 in the late 50s. While the book avoids going into all the sad details, the story is referenced at a crucial turning point for our dog characters to gain a new perspective. When all is said and done though, we do get a happy ending, along with what I thought was a beautiful tribute to Laika. All in all, Voyage of the Dogs was a tail-wagging good time, one that I would not hesitate to recommend to readers of all ages, especially those who love dogs. I don’t often find myself taken with a lot of children’s books, but this is definitely one to bark about. Audiobook Comments: If you have children in the targeted age range, this audiobook would be a good one to listen with them. Patrick Lawlor provides a good voice for Lopside, and when the dogs started doing Morse code, I almost got a cramp from laughing so hard at the “bark-bark-woofs!” A very entertaining listen overall.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eliza Rapsodia

    ARC provided by Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review REVIEW IN ENGLISH This is was a fun and sometimes deep and emotional adventure. Lopside is a barkonaut -a dog that has been trained to help and resolve problems on missions in space. He is part of a crew in the spaceship Laika that is going to a distant outpost. But something really bad happen and Lopside and his barkonaut friends: Daisy, Bug and the leader Champion should try to resolve the damage on the ship and survive at the same time ARC provided by Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review REVIEW IN ENGLISH This is was a fun and sometimes deep and emotional adventure. Lopside is a barkonaut -a dog that has been trained to help and resolve problems on missions in space. He is part of a crew in the spaceship Laika that is going to a distant outpost. But something really bad happen and Lopside and his barkonaut friends: Daisy, Bug and the leader Champion should try to resolve the damage on the ship and survive at the same time. At first I was really excited to read about dogs in space but as the story progressed I found myself really thinking about what could happen if a group of dogs and humans were really in trouble in space. Who could help them? Is there a way to survive after a fatal incident? So it really put me to think about the message this books was giving. I don't think you should sugarcoat what happens so I really appreciate it. I felt it more real and plausible. All the barkonauts have personality and a rol to play here: Champion as the leader, Bug as the technician, Daisy as the strong and active and Lopside with intelligence to resolve problems. Also there's a human that is relevant to the story: Roro, the one that adopted Lopside when he was abandoned. I loved to read about the perspective of Lopside and their interaction with the pack. I think it's really well done. The aspects of the technical matters of the spaceship are really well done and I don't think it's hard to understand at all. So kudos to the author for that. Emotional moments and stories of dogs are here too and it's a great addition. I really enjoyed this novel as an adult and I think kids will love it too. ****************************************** RESEÑA EN ESPAÑOL Esta fue una aventura muy divertida pero también profunda y emotiva. Lopside es un barkonauta, un perro que ha sido entrenado para ayudar y resolver problemas en misiones en el espacio. Es parte de un equipo en la nave espacial Laika que se dirige a un planeta distante. Pero algo malo sucede en el viaje y Lopside y sus compañeros, Daisy, Bug y la líder Champion deber resolver el problema y tratar de sobrevivir al mismo tiempo. Al principio estaba muy interesada por leer un libro infantil con perros en el espacio. Lo primero que uno ve es que está bien escrita y no es tan infantil como parecía y a medida que avanzaba la historia me sorprendió las preguntas serias de la historia: ¿qué podría pasar si un grupo de perros y humanos se vieran atrapados en una nave en el espacio? ¿Quién podría ayudarlos? ¿Hay alguna manera de sobrevivir después de un incidente tan grave? Me hizo pensar en el mensaje que el libro da y me gustó también que fuera ameno y serio al mismo tiempo. Lo sentí más real y plausible, aunque si se tiene en cuenta que los perros "hablan" entre ellos y se comunican con los humanos por un microchip implantado en el cerebro. Todos los barkonautas tienen personalidad y un rol: Champion, la lider y que planea con inteligencia, Bug como el experto en tecnología, Daisy como la perra fuerte y activa y Lopside, que es el protagonista, con su instinto para resolver problemas. También hay un humano que es relevante para la historia: Roro, una joven que adoptó Lopside cuando lo abandonaron. Me encantó cómo el autor narra desde la perspectiva de un perro y creo que está muy bien hecho. Los aspectos de los asuntos técnicos de la nave espacial están muy bien hechos y no creo que sea difícil de entender en absoluto. Así que felicitaciones al autor. Los momentos emocionales y las historias de perros famosos se cuentan aquí y creo que es una super buena adición. Yo personalmente disfruté esta novela como una adulta y creo que a los niños también les va a encantar. Ojalá este libro sea traducido al español.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lis Carey

    I'll just say this up front, because I'm one of the people for whom this is important: No dogs die in this book. We do get the story of Laika*, told by one of the dogs to the others so that, at a critical point, they can make an informed choice, but Greg Van Eekhout kills none of his fictional dogs in the course of this story. Lopside, Bug, Daisy, and their pack leader, Golden retriever Champion, are Barkonauts, dogs specially trained and equipped to be part of the crew of Laika, the first Earth I'll just say this up front, because I'm one of the people for whom this is important: No dogs die in this book. We do get the story of Laika*, told by one of the dogs to the others so that, at a critical point, they can make an informed choice, but Greg Van Eekhout kills none of his fictional dogs in the course of this story. Lopside, Bug, Daisy, and their pack leader, Golden retriever Champion, are Barkonauts, dogs specially trained and equipped to be part of the crew of Laika, the first Earth ship to head out to start a colony on an alien world in a distant solar system. There are four human crew as well, and we only meet two of them before one, Roro, helps the dogs into hibernation for the FTL portion of their travels. When the dogs wake up, the humans are gone, having taken the lifepod, and the ship is badly damaged. They're on the outskirts of their destination star system, but with with the ship's drives not working, too far from their destination planet, Stepping Stone. The dogs struggle to make repairs. They manage to redirect the communication antenna, and send a call for help to Earth. They are good dogs, and they are Barkonauts. Barkonauts complete their missions, and their mission is to get to Stepping Stone. There are real personalities at work. There is both conflict and cooperation among the dogs. Lopside, a little terrier mix, the only non-purebred, is our viewpoint character. From time to time he reminds us that unlike the others, he wasn't bred to please everyone. (Champion's a Golden, Bug is a Corgi, Daisy a Great Dane puppy. All bred to work with people, not to consider people's opinions and then make their own decisions.) Looming over their efforts is the name of the ship, Laika. They know Laika was the first dog in space, the very first Barkonaut, but for some reason, her story is missing from The Great Book of Dogs, the book Roro read to them, full of the stories of heroic dogs. Lopside really wants to know that story. He's sure it would help inspire them to even greater heroism and ingenuity. But with or without the story of Laika, these dogs love their people and their jobs, and are determined to succeed They don't quit. They don't fail. This is a very satisfying story. Recommended. I bought this book. *Considering how long it's been, and how much younger than me are the people raising young children today, I think I have to say outright what Laika's story is. She was the first dog in space, yes. She went up in Sputnik 2, on November 3, 1957. There was never a plan to bring her back, but she died within hours, when a malfunction caused the Sputnik cabin to overheat. This was the result of the Soviet space program taking barely four weeks to design Sputnik 2, and that wasn't enough time to make a reliable temperature control system for Laika. Laika's story is one of humans behaving badly. Greg Van Eekhout, on the other hand, is a good human, who gets well-deserved cuddles from his dogs.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shae McDaniel

    Literally Homeward Bound meets Gravity. So cute. But also wow, stressful. Kids are going to love it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    If you love dogs and love desperate voyages of a handful of survivors on board a crippled spacecraft who never give up hope but keep on doing their best because they are Good Dogs gosh darn it...and even though I don't care that much for dogs in general I am a sucker for any sort of character who keeps doing all they can for pack and for mission because the alternative, giving up, is not conceivable. These are Good Dogs indeed, and their good dogness made me teary quite a few times. Soiler, becau If you love dogs and love desperate voyages of a handful of survivors on board a crippled spacecraft who never give up hope but keep on doing their best because they are Good Dogs gosh darn it...and even though I don't care that much for dogs in general I am a sucker for any sort of character who keeps doing all they can for pack and for mission because the alternative, giving up, is not conceivable. These are Good Dogs indeed, and their good dogness made me teary quite a few times. Soiler, because some people don't like books where horrible things happen to dogs--no horrible thing happened that made me teary. Just Good Dogs being Good Dogs.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Lopside, Champion, Bug, and Daisy are the Barkonauts and they will finish their mission. This story was so amazingly adorable I wanted to hold up the book and wave it around in a room full of book enthusiasts and say "YOU MUST READ THIS!" Kids will love it, but so will adults who can still deal with a reasonable amount of cuteness. Each of the dogs has its own distinct personality. I adored Daisy, the Great Dane puppy who bounds all over the place, always with her squeaky ball, but ends up partly Lopside, Champion, Bug, and Daisy are the Barkonauts and they will finish their mission. This story was so amazingly adorable I wanted to hold up the book and wave it around in a room full of book enthusiasts and say "YOU MUST READ THIS!" Kids will love it, but so will adults who can still deal with a reasonable amount of cuteness. Each of the dogs has its own distinct personality. I adored Daisy, the Great Dane puppy who bounds all over the place, always with her squeaky ball, but ends up partly saving them all. There is a surprising amount of tension - parts where I actually worried about what would come next. It definitely has a Happy Ever After, but the dogs have to work to get there. They are Good Dogs. And Good Dogs complete their mission.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    "A sad story could be like a gentle scritch behind the ears. It told him that he was not alone." So so so enjoyed this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jake

    Really freaking cute and perfect for kids wanting to try a mild sci-fi book. Also, anything with Barkonauts will be easy to hand to nervous readers. This was recommended to me by a 3rd grade girl and her dad who both read and loved it. So glad I listened.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This is a fabulous concept for an MG adventure novel – dogs in space! Companion-dogs forced to rescue themselves when their humans go missing! – and it’s carried off SO well. I actually know Greg, so I already knew that he had dogs of his own, but even if I hadn’t known him beforehand, I would have been certain that he’s a dog-owner just by how fantastically he writes from a dog’s point of view. It is so much fun to watch the barkonauts’ augmented intelligence mix with their laugh-out-loud spot-o This is a fabulous concept for an MG adventure novel – dogs in space! Companion-dogs forced to rescue themselves when their humans go missing! – and it’s carried off SO well. I actually know Greg, so I already knew that he had dogs of his own, but even if I hadn’t known him beforehand, I would have been certain that he’s a dog-owner just by how fantastically he writes from a dog’s point of view. It is so much fun to watch the barkonauts’ augmented intelligence mix with their laugh-out-loud spot-on dog priorities and behaviors. And the space adventure is really fabulous! As my 9-year-old was reading me a chapter (because we took turns reading it out loud to each other, one chapter at a time), he said: “I think I know what’s going to happen next, but I’m not going to tell you, because I think it’s going to be really exciting if I’m right!” And he was. :) It was very exciting! Recommended to all kids and adults who love dogs and outer space adventures.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lowd

    This is a perfect book. Addendum a few hours later: I miss reading this book... It was totally absorbing, and if I'd read it when I was twelve, it would have unquestionably been my favorite book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hobart

    ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up) This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- Of course, the humans couldn't go alone. There had to be dogs. Because wherever humans went dogs came along. Like rats, only more helpful. Dogs would herd livestock. Dogs would keep watch against the unknown. And, more importantly, dogs would keep the human crew company during the long spaceflight, and on their new home, far away from Earth. But first they had to get there. I guess this is technically a "Middle Grade" b ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up) This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- Of course, the humans couldn't go alone. There had to be dogs. Because wherever humans went dogs came along. Like rats, only more helpful. Dogs would herd livestock. Dogs would keep watch against the unknown. And, more importantly, dogs would keep the human crew company during the long spaceflight, and on their new home, far away from Earth. But first they had to get there. I guess this is technically a "Middle Grade" book -- but forget about that. Call it All-Ages instead -- that way, adults and YA readers and . . . everyone can enjoy this SF guilt-free. I should also include this line from The Big Idea post Van Eekhout wrote on Scalzi's blog: "Spoiler: I don’t kill off any of the dogs in this book. Why not? Because I’m not a monster, that’s why not." It's important to get that out of the way. Let's start with this: the rationale to bring dogs along on a spaceship. It's brilliant. It also points to one of the biggest problems with Starfleet, the Colonial Battle Fleet, the Serenity, etc. A lack of animals. Sure, NCC 1701-D had pets (not that we saw them often), but they were sealed up in cabins. And Firefly's episode "Safe" had cattle, but that was an oddity. The animals aboard Laika are there for purposes -- like the main character, Lopside. He's there to hunt rats -- where there are humans and cargo, there are rats. Something small and fast -- and with a good nose -- is needed to hunt rats down. The book will do a better job explaining the roles of the other three dogs and what advances in breeding have led to dogs being capable of being more than the dogs we have today -- while still remaining dogs -- to become Barkonauts. These poor, brave dogs go into the hibernation state just before the humans do to complete the voyage to a nearby star system as part of human exploration and colonization, the first mission like this humanity has tried. But when the dogs wake up, they notice something's wrong -- part of the ship is missing, as is the crew. They're too far into the mission to turn around, too far away for a rescue mission to reach them. At this point, Lopside and the others have to try to salvage what they can and limp along to their final destination. Lopside is a terrier mix, he's brave, he has (understandably) abandonment issues -- which are not helped at all by the absence of the humans. He's a little scatter-brained (like a good terrier) and he's incredibly loyal and has a great heart. The other barkonauts are as well-drawn and lovable. Van Eekhout is clearly a dog-lover and it comes out in his characters. He's also a pretty good story-teller, because even with that spoiler, I was invested in the outcome and really wasn't sure how he was going to pull things off in a way that was satisfying and that wouldn't reduce semi-sensitive 5th-graders across the globe to quivering balls of tears (a lesson Wilson Rawls could've used, I have to say -- no, I'm not still torn up about Old Dan and Little Ann, why do you ask?). He does succeed in that -- although some might get a bit misty at a point or two. It's a fun and creative story, and takes some oft-repeated SF tropes and deals with them in a refreshing way. Ignore the stars -- I can't bring myself to give it more, I don't know why. Pay attention to what I have said above and this: read the book. It'll warm your heart, it'll make you make you a little sad, it'll give you something to grin about -- and it tells a good story, too. What more do you want?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Plus The Laika is on mission Stepping Stone, traveling outside the solar system to set up a new planet. In addition to the human crew, animals, and plants, there are some very loyal dogs, because where there are humans, there HAVE to be dogs! Since the journey is so long, everyone goes into hibernation including our hero, Lopside, Great Dane Daisy, natural leader and captain's assistant Champion, and talented engineer Bug. Lopside is a bit apprehensive, but his human Roro tel E ARC from Edelweiss Plus The Laika is on mission Stepping Stone, traveling outside the solar system to set up a new planet. In addition to the human crew, animals, and plants, there are some very loyal dogs, because where there are humans, there HAVE to be dogs! Since the journey is so long, everyone goes into hibernation including our hero, Lopside, Great Dane Daisy, natural leader and captain's assistant Champion, and talented engineer Bug. Lopside is a bit apprehensive, but his human Roro tells him he is a good dog, and he follows her orders. When the dogs wake up, however, there is no sign of the humans, and their ship is in danger. The dogs work hard to get it fixed and to come up with the best plan they can to get the ship to their designated planet so that the mission can continue. The dogs manage to navigate the intricacies of space travel, like air locks, decompression chambers, and travel pods, even though they have no support from the command center, who tell them that they are good dogs but offer no attempts to rescue them! Wanting the mission to succeed, and wanting to rescue their humans if at all possible, the dogs make repairs, decide what functions of the space ship can retain power, and do the best they can with limited resources. Will the "Barkonauts" be able to reach their target and save their humans? Strengths: Writing from the point of view of a dog is a very fine balance, and Van Eekhout does a great job. It helps that there is technology that allows humans to translate dog thoughts into human language, and that the dogs are very well trained in so many aspects of space travel. They face dangers bravely and never give up. There are a growing number of space adventures books (as opposed to sci fi books where the aliens invade and everything goes poorly!), so this will be an excellent addition to the Voyagers series (various authors), Kraatz's Space Runners, and Liss' Randoms. The fact that it has such an adorable dog on the cover will make this appealing to my readers who might not normally pick up space travel books but will read anything about dogs. I know just the student to whom I will hand this first! Weaknesses: I can fully understand why Roro erased the story of Laika from the database. Not okay to share with doomed space dogs! I am really curious to see how this story continues, and hate to wait! What I really think: An easier sell than The Boy at the End of the World (2011) or Kid vs. Squid(2010) which I adored but which doesn't circulate terribly well. Glad to see Mr. Van Eekhout returning to middle grade!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ramsey Hootman

    Review courtesy of my eight-year-old: I loved it! This book is a mix of funny, adventure, and sadness. There were lots of really sad parts. I liked how there were tons of details and how the dogs were super smart. I'm pretty sure the most funny part was where the dog burped a song. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves dogs and space. From me: Kiddo was instantly grabbed by the charming cover and the blurb riffing on Star Trek (to boldly go where no dog has been before) and, once he sta Review courtesy of my eight-year-old: I loved it! This book is a mix of funny, adventure, and sadness. There were lots of really sad parts. I liked how there were tons of details and how the dogs were super smart. I'm pretty sure the most funny part was where the dog burped a song. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves dogs and space. From me: Kiddo was instantly grabbed by the charming cover and the blurb riffing on Star Trek (to boldly go where no dog has been before) and, once he started reading, captivated by the story. When he finished, he was astounded to learn that many of the dog-lore stories in the book are in fact true. As for me - I want to read it, but I nearly started crying just reading the jacket copy, so I'm not sure I can make it through this one. Kiddo has assured me, however, that all the dogs are OKAY.

  14. 5 out of 5

    J.A.Birch

    Where there are humans there are dogs, also where there are humans there are rats, or so Lopside has been led to believe but on the Spacecraft Laika he hasn't seen a single rodent. The Spacecraft Laika is traveling to a new world to start a human colony; it holds many crew, some farm animals in deep sleep, a variety of eggs, and five dogs. Lopside, Champion, Daisy, and Bug are important members of the crew, they are the Barkonauts. Dad suggested I read this book knowing that I have a condition whe Where there are humans there are dogs, also where there are humans there are rats, or so Lopside has been led to believe but on the Spacecraft Laika he hasn't seen a single rodent. The Spacecraft Laika is traveling to a new world to start a human colony; it holds many crew, some farm animals in deep sleep, a variety of eggs, and five dogs. Lopside, Champion, Daisy, and Bug are important members of the crew, they are the Barkonauts. Dad suggested I read this book knowing that I have a condition when reading about animals when they are protagonists; he told me to read it anyway and I am very happy with the outcome. Voyage of the Dogs is a lovely, heartwarming read of human kinds link with canines. Set in the future there have been advances in science to elongate canine lives and to help with communications between dogs and humans (resulting in the humans having an implant that translates the dog's manners, body language, and barks so they can communicate both ways). The book follows Lopside the only non-purebred dog on the ship. Lopside helps with engineering; he carries multiple tools on his harness and is known by all the human crew. Champion is a golden retriever; she is in charge of the Barkonauts. Bug is a corgi; he helps with engineering. And then there's Daisy a great dane puppy, once she is fully grown on their desired planet she will help move heavy loads. Each of the Barkonauts is known through the crew, but they all love and respect Roro. Roro helps the Barkonauts; she maintains the bio-dome and the flora inside it. Roro is the most involved human when it comes to the Barkonauts; she makes them toys from spare pieces throughout the Laika and she tells them stories of hero dogs throughout history. Space travel is full of perils, even the best laid out plans can go wrong Voyage of the Dogs explores what happens when this happens. The Barkonauts wake from their hibernation chambers and find that all the humans are gone and the Laika is failing. A repeating theme through the book is that connection between humans and dogs, and that Barkonauts always complete their mission. Definitely one that I will reread time and time again.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Billie

    I need to get over bad or incomplete science in books for middle graders. I mean, this was a good, solid space adventure starring dogs for goodness' sake and all I'm worrying about is who tested all the flora and fauna on Stepping Stone to ensure they were safe to eat. Like, seriously, the stuff on Stepping Stone was maybe 10% of the book and I'm letting it ruin my enjoyment of the whole book. Suspension of disbelief, woman. Suspension. Of. Disbelief. Sigh. My problem, not the book's. But can we t I need to get over bad or incomplete science in books for middle graders. I mean, this was a good, solid space adventure starring dogs for goodness' sake and all I'm worrying about is who tested all the flora and fauna on Stepping Stone to ensure they were safe to eat. Like, seriously, the stuff on Stepping Stone was maybe 10% of the book and I'm letting it ruin my enjoyment of the whole book. Suspension of disbelief, woman. Suspension. Of. Disbelief. Sigh. My problem, not the book's. But can we talk about the dead astronauts..?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    This is a lovely little book about a group of Very Good Dogs. On a spaceship. They got left behind by the humans on the ship, but they're determined to complete their mission. This is a middle-grade book, but if you need a pick-me-up or a unicorn chaser in these dark times, read (or listen) to this book. You won't regret it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kim Howard

    Cute story for fans of books about dogs and outer space!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Angie Boyter

    4+, verging on 5. A charming SF book for young people of all ages! Such a wonderful change from dystopic SF. Who could resist a book about a spaceship full of dogs, abandoned by the human crew and determined to save themselves and their ship? It was an outrageously cute idea, but could it succeed without being downright silly? The answer is a resounding Yes, and Voyage of the Dogs delivers a delightful read for both young people and adults. The spaceship Laika carries a small group of “barkonauts” 4+, verging on 5. A charming SF book for young people of all ages! Such a wonderful change from dystopic SF. Who could resist a book about a spaceship full of dogs, abandoned by the human crew and determined to save themselves and their ship? It was an outrageously cute idea, but could it succeed without being downright silly? The answer is a resounding Yes, and Voyage of the Dogs delivers a delightful read for both young people and adults. The spaceship Laika carries a small group of “barkonauts” among its crew to keep down any vermin that have stowed aboard and, more important, to provide companionship after the ship arrives at the new planet, Stepping Stone, where everyone would be homesteading. When engine problems cause the humans to abandon ship, the dogs vow to save themselves and complete their mission. The story is fun and never lags. The dogs are sympathetic and credible (well, almost). And even the science is plausible. And, (I hope this is not too much of a spoiler) there is a happy ending. Enjoy!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Simone Henderson

    Okay, so I received an advance readers edition of this book for free and am under no obligation so you will hear my unadulterated opinion on it. What interested me the most about reading it is found on the cover, "To boldly go where no dog has gone before." Yup, I'm a Star Trek fan although I do not typically read young adult or kids literature. This book is written primarily for grades 3-7 (ages 8-12) so it's a kids/young adult book. I'm not certain if it's supposed to be science fiction, fantas Okay, so I received an advance readers edition of this book for free and am under no obligation so you will hear my unadulterated opinion on it. What interested me the most about reading it is found on the cover, "To boldly go where no dog has gone before." Yup, I'm a Star Trek fan although I do not typically read young adult or kids literature. This book is written primarily for grades 3-7 (ages 8-12) so it's a kids/young adult book. I'm not certain if it's supposed to be science fiction, fantasy, or both. I take it to be more fantasy than science fiction. I enjoyed the characters in the book (Daisy, Champion, Bug and Lopside). The book is from the POV mostly of Lopside who was a rescued stray trained to be part of this special space mission. Aboard the spaceship Laika (named presumably for the first dog sent into space by Russia and the first animal to orbit the earth), the trip requires hibernation of all inhabitants for survival. In Russian language, Laika means "barker" so the name fits. On this voyage you have 4 dogs with a full space ship of people headed outside the solar system to a star HD 24040 152 light years away. The fourth planet from the star is the destination of this mission and this planed is called Stepping Stone. During hibernation, the dogs are completely abandoned by their human crew. There is plenty of action in the novel. As a matter of fact, I believe it may not be appropriate for this age group. So many bad things happen in the book, that even I got troubled by it. I cannot imagine it not affecting children in this age group especially those who have dogs as pets. Admittedly, my kids are all grown and my grand-kids are too young for this type of reading so I may be out of touch as to what kids these days are reading. There is no resolution in the book until the final chapter. Maybe the author designed it this way to keep kids interested? Unless a child reads through to the very end, the story leaves you hanging from chapter to chapter. I was upset through most of the story. So, I have given the book three stars. I also find it hard to see a dog fixing certain spaceship components with PAWS as hands...but that's the fantasy side I suppose. Parents you may want to visit the book before giving it to young children.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rainflight

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is amazing, stunning, and altogether the best sci-fi book I have ever read and ever will read. I'm a big fan of dogs- they're the center of my world. Sci-fi? Not so much. I've always been a little iffy on that genre and never really enjoyed any of their movies or books very much (except of course Star Wars). I was thrilled to find that this book pulled it off! This book exceeded my expectations, which were fairly high to begin with, and left me wanting sequels upon sequels. The character This book is amazing, stunning, and altogether the best sci-fi book I have ever read and ever will read. I'm a big fan of dogs- they're the center of my world. Sci-fi? Not so much. I've always been a little iffy on that genre and never really enjoyed any of their movies or books very much (except of course Star Wars). I was thrilled to find that this book pulled it off! This book exceeded my expectations, which were fairly high to begin with, and left me wanting sequels upon sequels. The characters are lovable and unforgettable, and the stories the dogs love are some of my favorites as well. Full of intense scenes, reckless and bold decisions, a heroic and fantastic lead character, and a mission that seems impossible, it all came together to become one of my new favorite books- and surely a favorite for everyone who reads it. The ending was so perfect and so beautiful that my heart broke in spite of myself and I found myself speechless, tears threatening to flow. There was no better way it could have ended, and it gives me goosebumps even now just thinking about it. I wish it hadn't ended so fast! (Just one little thing I'd like to suggest; when Roro retells her experience, she says the crew was scattered like confetti on the wind. I like the words, but not in this context since it seems too cheerful for such a sad part in the book. Maybe something like 'leaves on the wind', 'petals on the wind', or 'seeds on the wind'. Something a little more poetic and delicate.)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Thank you HarperChildrens for the Goodreads Giveaway! What a fun read. I really enjoyed it. The book felt like a version of The Martian but for children and with dogs as the main characters. That was a great mash-up for me! I love space adventures and I love dogs. The dogs personalities and characters were cute and had nice depth for a children's book. I really liked the dogs' relationships with Roro (their handler basically) and how they went into the dogs' backstories for Lopside and Champion. Thank you HarperChildrens for the Goodreads Giveaway! What a fun read. I really enjoyed it. The book felt like a version of The Martian but for children and with dogs as the main characters. That was a great mash-up for me! I love space adventures and I love dogs. The dogs personalities and characters were cute and had nice depth for a children's book. I really liked the dogs' relationships with Roro (their handler basically) and how they went into the dogs' backstories for Lopside and Champion. Great character development! I thought it was a great space novel for children - a nice mix of action, suspense, and science of space travel. I also really enjoyed the comic relief - I had some nice laughs and was often reading with a smile on my face. My main issue with it, and why I probably won't recommend it for my children, is that they tell the story about the first dog sent to space and how it died a horrible death, and then had this moment of broken trust between dogs and humans because of how sometimes humans betray dogs' trust. For me, that was too dark for a children's book. It's real, I get that, but I don't want something that dark for a child that I think the reading level of this book is aimed at. Maybe for an older audience, or make it less dark for a child.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Theis

    *I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and this is my honest review* SOS. Lakia damaged. Lifepod missing. Human crew missing. We are the dogs. We are alone. 1st I want to say how happy I am I won this book. It sounded like such a cute idea and it didn't disappoint! 2nd, no dogs die. I repeat. No dogs die. Lopside is a barkonaut, a dog trained to be part of a space mission to colonize a disant plant named Stepping Stone. He, and 3 other fellow barkonauts are put into hibernation along side their *I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and this is my honest review* SOS. Lakia damaged. Lifepod missing. Human crew missing. We are the dogs. We are alone. 1st I want to say how happy I am I won this book. It sounded like such a cute idea and it didn't disappoint! 2nd, no dogs die. I repeat. No dogs die. Lopside is a barkonaut, a dog trained to be part of a space mission to colonize a disant plant named Stepping Stone. He, and 3 other fellow barkonauts are put into hibernation along side their human crew mates. But upon waking up, these dogs realize something bad had happened and the humans are missing. Will they return to earth? Or complete their mission? This book was seriously a joy to read. The interactions of the dogs are true and cute, sometimes humorous. The book flows, the main characters are thought out nicely, and I didn't have to cry reading about a dog death! (Although one does get an injury) This book really focuses of these dogs and giving them life. It flowed and kept me engaged. What's better than dogs.... In space? 💛💛💛 😍👍

  23. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    This is the voyage of the spaceship Laika. Its current mission: to travel to a new world, to survive without human companions and opposable thumbs, to boldly go where no dog has gone before! When the four members of the canine crew of the Laika wake from hibernation to find themselves abandoned by their human counterparts, they know it’s up to them to complete the mission. And good dogs always complete their missions. THE SECRET LIFE OF DOGS meets UP meets LOST IN SPACE, or perhaps the canine ver This is the voyage of the spaceship Laika. Its current mission: to travel to a new world, to survive without human companions and opposable thumbs, to boldly go where no dog has gone before! When the four members of the canine crew of the Laika wake from hibernation to find themselves abandoned by their human counterparts, they know it’s up to them to complete the mission. And good dogs always complete their missions. THE SECRET LIFE OF DOGS meets UP meets LOST IN SPACE, or perhaps the canine version of THE MARTIAN. Discover what it’s like to be a dog, how dogs came to exist in the first place, and the bond dogs share with their human companions. Read about heroic historical canines. And best of all, learn about space travel from the perspective of a future bred-to-be-really-smart dog. A really good dog. A Barkonaut! A howling good read for the middle grader in your life. Woofbarkwoofbark woofwoofwoof woofwoofwoof barkwoofbarkbark!

  24. 4 out of 5

    LeeAnn

    3.5 stars. It took me a bit to get into this middle grade science fiction story but once I did, I enjoyed it. I think what happened was I was expecting the kind of anthropomorphized dogs you find in many books for young people. Van Eekhout, however, chose to walk a fine line in keeping his dog characters dogs. Highly trained and evolved dogs, but still dogs who sniff butts, like smelly things, and hold to pack loyalty. Plus this is a futuristic story where humankind has developed ways to better 3.5 stars. It took me a bit to get into this middle grade science fiction story but once I did, I enjoyed it. I think what happened was I was expecting the kind of anthropomorphized dogs you find in many books for young people. Van Eekhout, however, chose to walk a fine line in keeping his dog characters dogs. Highly trained and evolved dogs, but still dogs who sniff butts, like smelly things, and hold to pack loyalty. Plus this is a futuristic story where humankind has developed ways to better communicate with their canine helpers and canine intelligence has taken a few leaps as well. The four canine characters are distinct and likeable; the "abandoned in space" plot has plenty of tension, action, and character development; and best of all, it's a story that will appeal to dog lovers and science fiction buffs alike. Note: I received and ARC of this book from the publisher.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Dulaney

    Mix together Star Trek and Lost in Space and liberally sprinkle in “dogs” and you have “Voyage of the Dogs.” A stray named Lopside and three other highly trained canines are the sole survivors of a space expedition gone horribly wrong. Readers won’t be able to read fast enough to find out if these skilled dogs can find the crew of humans that abandoned them or reach the new planet where they were supposed to establish a new colony. Some of the science may be over the heads of the target audience Mix together Star Trek and Lost in Space and liberally sprinkle in “dogs” and you have “Voyage of the Dogs.” A stray named Lopside and three other highly trained canines are the sole survivors of a space expedition gone horribly wrong. Readers won’t be able to read fast enough to find out if these skilled dogs can find the crew of humans that abandoned them or reach the new planet where they were supposed to establish a new colony. Some of the science may be over the heads of the target audience of grades 4-6, but the context clues abound and I’m fairly certain with background knowledge from space related movies and television shows that all will make sense. The relatively short length and the fast pace of this book make it an excellent choice for the reluctant reader crowd as well as dog and/or sci-if fans. No profanity or mature situations. Thanks for the dARC, Edelweiss.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Science fiction about dogs in space. It keeps the doggishness of the characters, but gives humans a translator to understand their meanings, and posits that they can be trained to run and repair space ships. (There are gravity emitters and space singularities -- it's all very modern.) The personalities of the four dogs are well chosen -- our Hero Lopside is scrappy, small, and energetic; the leader, Champion is bigger but also more cynical underneath. Bugs is an excitable dour engineer, and the p Science fiction about dogs in space. It keeps the doggishness of the characters, but gives humans a translator to understand their meanings, and posits that they can be trained to run and repair space ships. (There are gravity emitters and space singularities -- it's all very modern.) The personalities of the four dogs are well chosen -- our Hero Lopside is scrappy, small, and energetic; the leader, Champion is bigger but also more cynical underneath. Bugs is an excitable dour engineer, and the puppy Daisy is the biggest and comes up with the innocently genius ideas. As they deal with abandonment and space disaster the pooches also wrestle with the nature of responsibility and their relationship with humanity.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Booey

    The Voyage of the Dogs is a strangely compelling story of intergalactic space exploration and the loyalty of dogs. The last thing that Lopside remembers is getting belly rubs and then falling asleep for the beginning of their 6 month hibernation period before they arrive at their new home across the galaxy. When Lopside, Champion, Bug, and Daisy wake up, however, their spaceship is strangely silent, red lights are flashing, and the human crew is nowhere to be found. So begins their peril fraught s The Voyage of the Dogs is a strangely compelling story of intergalactic space exploration and the loyalty of dogs. The last thing that Lopside remembers is getting belly rubs and then falling asleep for the beginning of their 6 month hibernation period before they arrive at their new home across the galaxy. When Lopside, Champion, Bug, and Daisy wake up, however, their spaceship is strangely silent, red lights are flashing, and the human crew is nowhere to be found. So begins their peril fraught sojourn to complete their mission as Barkonauts and make their people proud. Like I said, strangely compelling. I'm not sure if it is because I am just really digging sci-fi right now or if Greg van Eekhout is just that good, but I'm a convert. Barkonauts are truly good girls and boys.

  28. 4 out of 5

    P.M.

    Once the cover said "To boldly go where no dog has gone before", I was hooked. A pack of dogs (Lopside, Champion, Bug, and Daisy) is accompanying the human crew on board the Laika to a new planet, Stepping Stone. The dogs awake from hibernation to find the ship damaged and the humans gone. Being good dogs, they band together and find a way to survive. Lopside even finds the one surviving crew member in an asteroid field. I loved this book. The dogs, especially Lopside< were terrific character Once the cover said "To boldly go where no dog has gone before", I was hooked. A pack of dogs (Lopside, Champion, Bug, and Daisy) is accompanying the human crew on board the Laika to a new planet, Stepping Stone. The dogs awake from hibernation to find the ship damaged and the humans gone. Being good dogs, they band together and find a way to survive. Lopside even finds the one surviving crew member in an asteroid field. I loved this book. The dogs, especially Lopside< were terrific characters. I am hoping the author will continue their story with an adventure on Stepping Stone. This was just too short.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Richard Mellinger

    Greg Van Eekhout did a great job with this book. He's a very good boy. I don't read a lot of middle grade, but... dogs in space... I mean, c'mon. I had to. This was well written and had characters that were lovable (not difficult because they are dogs) and relatable (much more impressive). He did a fantastic job of sprinkling in real science and interesting facts among the hand-wavy-almost-science that makes most science fiction work, the latter being forgivable and, in my opinion, done better her Greg Van Eekhout did a great job with this book. He's a very good boy. I don't read a lot of middle grade, but... dogs in space... I mean, c'mon. I had to. This was well written and had characters that were lovable (not difficult because they are dogs) and relatable (much more impressive). He did a fantastic job of sprinkling in real science and interesting facts among the hand-wavy-almost-science that makes most science fiction work, the latter being forgivable and, in my opinion, done better here than in a lot of sci-fi. The story had a great pace and interesting twists and turns. I can't think of a single thing about it that I didn't like. This was a fun read. Do it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mattison

    (Spoiler from the author: I don’t kill off any of the dogs in this book. Why not? Because I’m not a monster, that’s why not.) This is a children's book (target age 7-12). My somewhat low rating reflects its lack of cross-over appeal for this adult. I would not want to dissuade anyone from choosing it for a child. Still it is a sweet and uplifting story of four Barkonaut (dogs specially trained for space travel) who awake from cyrosleep to discover their humans have abandoned ship. The struggle to (Spoiler from the author: I don’t kill off any of the dogs in this book. Why not? Because I’m not a monster, that’s why not.) This is a children's book (target age 7-12). My somewhat low rating reflects its lack of cross-over appeal for this adult. I would not want to dissuade anyone from choosing it for a child. Still it is a sweet and uplifting story of four Barkonaut (dogs specially trained for space travel) who awake from cyrosleep to discover their humans have abandoned ship. The struggle to learn what happened, save their ship and themselves.

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