This title is based on the Cartoon Network animated series "Ben 10" that began in 2005. It is about "Ben Tennyson, who finds a device called the Omnitrix, which allows him to transform into 10 different alien heroes," according to the extensive fan site set up for all things "Ben 10" (see link in synopsis for Wikia). Originally, Ben was a pre-teen, but in the part of the series that "Science Friction" happens, Ben is a teenager. This iPad book is based on a comic book that was published in 2010, following 16 year old Ben & his friends.
Not being familiar with this series, in any of its many forms, I had a hard time following the story. So, if you have also never heard of Ben 10, this is not the book to start with. However, it would be a different story if the reader were a fan of the series. And the wiki pages demonstrate that there are more than just a few fans out there of Ben, Gwen, Kevin & Cooper.
In iPad form, this book seemed solidly made and had easy page turn with good audio. Be aware, though, that this title is not animated in any way, nor is there any interactivity. Also, no games or extras are included. So, basically it's a narrated comic book. This could definitely substitute for a comic book in print form, but beyond the narration, it doesn't really add much beyond the otherwise crisp, HD images that make illustrations look so nice on an iPad. Sometimes books like this in print can be helpful to encourage an otherwise reluctant young reader and certainly giving a child an iPad book like this would be better than watching too much TV.
Even though I don't know much about this series, I am a little disappointed on behalf of its fans. Since the iPad can do so much more, and this is hardly a bedtime read or a hand illustrated picture book, I'm not sure why it doesn't have at least a few 'bells & whistles' to make it more interactive. It's a fine read for a kid who loves this show, but it's not likely to elicit much of a 'wow'.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
10 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 6 - 10
Ben 10: Science Friction is part of the "Ben 10: Ultimate Alien" books. This title was originally published by Scholastic in 2010 as a comic book written by Tracey West.
Plot Synopis (courtesy Wikia):
"Cooper is trying to get Kevin to try on a mask for a sci-fi convention that Kevin, Ben, and Gwen had to go to with Cooper because Kevin owed him for fixing a Talkion transmitter. Kevin didn't want to be there but Ben thought it would be cool. Just then a whole bunch of people who recognized Ben at the convention came running at him for an autograph so Ben put on Cooper's hairy mask to disguise himself.
Gwen said Ben looked like a deranged teddy bear, and Cooper was interested in a new sci-fi movie coming out called, Alien Invasion. Kevin saw the props for the movie and said they were cheesy and so terribly fake and the person who made the movie knew nothing about aliens.
But Cooper insisted that it would be cool. Later Kevin found a prop that was real alien tech, and Cooper ran off to get an autograph from Princess Aurora from Planet X. Kevin and Gwen left but when Ben tried to follow the mask he was wearing obscured his sight and he bumped into the alien tech that Kevin found.
The device lit up and a tiny, orange alien popped out of it. The small alien though Ben was also an alien because of the mask he was wearing, and said that he would destroy the Earth with the other fifty-billion soldiers he had with him. Suddenly more aliens popped out of the machine and sarted attacking everyone at the convention. Ben caught up with his friends and told them.
Cooper said that since he was a technopath he would work on the machine they came out of. Ben transformeed into Echo Echo and then Ultimate Echo Echo and started herding most of aliens(called Laurians) into the Intergalactic Disco. The Laurians started blasting people with their ray guns and the Ultimate Echo Echos threw black amplifiers at them and knocked the Laurians out.
Meanwhile Kevin was absorbing metal and turn into a small hammer to knock the Laurians unconscious. Gwen found a soda machine and used her powers to dump the soda onto the Laurians to short out their ray guns. Meanwhile the Laurians figured out Cooper was trying to stop their machine and they attacked him.
Ben transformed into Nanomech,j umped into the Laurians machine, and kicked it in reverse to send all the Laurians back to their planet. When the fight ended Ben said the attack was just a scene from the new movie Alien Invasion, and Gwen said the movie was going to be a big hit. And Cooper was seen chasing a girl."