Voyage of the Dogs

Voyage of the Dogs

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...

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Title:Voyage of the Dogs
Author:Greg Van Eekhout
Rating:

Voyage of the Dogs Reviews

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    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

    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.

  • Eliza Rapsodia

    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

    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.

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Shae McDaniel

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

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