Time collided. Now dinosaurs roam with robots. Humans from three different time periods now live on Earth. Diego’s parents come from two different time periods and hope to make their home, New Chicago, a better place.
In Diego’s world, conflict is ever-present. Not everyone believes that kids from different eras of history and from different cultures should interact. Some still wish for the world that they came from before time collided.
When Diego’s father, a New Chicago’s top engineer, is taken by rebels, Diego vows to help free his father. Diego thinks the key is to build bigger, stronger weapons. However, when he and three others accidentally end up on a pirate ship, Diego’s beliefs are challenged.
Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic gives the reader a glimpse of the struggles others faced during different eras, which gives the story interest. The story doesn’t just focus on how boys and girls often do not understand each other, but also how people from different cultures can also have conflict.
Although the story is full of action and has an epic battle scene, the violence is not described in great detail. Instead, sights and sounds are left to the reader’s imagination. Stunning illustrations enhance the story and help bring the new world to life. Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic is a story about friendship, family, and seeing others in a new way. In the end, Diego learns that powerful weapons are not the key to keeping his world safe.
- Two boys have a sparring match and the winner gets a kiss from Paige. One of the boys says, “Sadly for you, only one lovely lady will get to know the thrill of these lips.” Later the winner describes the kiss, “But it wasn’t exactly a kiss. More like an attack on my face. Her lips were, like, strong.”
- Diego and a group are cornered by a bully and his gang. Diego “Slammed Fish across the face with it (skateboard) and a girl ‘judo flipped’ a boy to the floor.”
- A rebel group attacks a power plant and kidnap about a dozen engineers. “A marine lay on the floor nearby, unmoving . . . Shots. More gunshots. Fists colliding, the thump of bodies hitting the floor.” During the attack, a man holds a sword against Diego’s father’s throat.
- Rebels attack a boat carrying some of the engineers’ families. “More pops. Splintering cracks. . . The gunfire seemed to come from everywhere . . . Bullets zinged past Diego’s head.” Diego’s mother shoots the rebel’s boat and it explodes.
- When trying to escape from dinosaurs, Diego crashes his gravity board on a cliff. “The beast began to throw their massive bodies against the wall, trying to dislodge him.” Diego is rescued.
- The rebels attack the pirate ship and the battle plays out over an entire chapter. The battle is not described in graphic detail.
- The pirates, trying to save the engineers, attack the rebel’s base. The attack happens over several chapters. Diego shoots at one of the bad guys. When someone is injured, the description jumps in time, which allows the reader to imagine what happened. One of the characters is killed, but his death is not described.
- When someone calls Diego a “clock mongrel,” Diego’s father hits him. “George spun and crumpled to the floor.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- A boy “sucked on his cigarette, the end glowing. . .”
- The pirate captain is seen asleep with a half-empty bottle of vodka and Diego assumes he is drunk.
- Profanity is used rarely, but includes bastards, crap, crud, damn, hell, holy crap, and pisses.
- When Lucy is saved from a dinosaur, she said, “Oh my God, I thought I was done for!” She uses this phrase twice.
- When Diego finds out that pirates have been hired to find his father and the other engineers, Diego said, “Hell, I should be allowed to go before some hired guns.”
- When Diego tells his friend about the pirates, his friend replies, “bloody hell!”
- The rebel group is referred to as “bastards.”
- When Paige makes a meal, the available food is referred to as “nasty crap.”
- According to Diego, one of the girls acts like “everything I do pisses her off.”
- Diego and his father have “the Maker’s Sight,” which allows them to see how different machine parts work together. “It shows me a series of images that allow me to make or fix anything.”
- Diego wills baby turtles to surround Lucy. He explains how he did it. “It’s more like I can send them a thought, feeling, or image, and they seem to . . . act on it. It’s like hypnosis, I think.”
- When describing “the Maker’s Sight,” Diego’s friend said, “You sound like one of those spiritual mediums we have back in London, communicating with the dead through their crystal balls.”
- During a battle, the pirate captain said, “A prayer to your god of choice might also be helpful.”