The Rendering by Joel Naftali
Egmont, USA, 2011
4 out of 5
One mad scientist + one evil mercenary vs. two kids + three skunks = nonstop adventure
Doug Soloman was a normal kid. But that ended once he became wanted for murder. Now he's being hunted by VIRUS--an evil organization bent on world domination.
Only Doug and his friend Jamie stand between mad scientist Dr. Roach and VIRUS's success--well, them and three superpowerful skunks.
The Rending is a wild technological adventure that pushes the limits of reality with out-of-this-world gadgets and fun.
It was after I finished reading the book that I realized that is a skunk on the cover. Brilliant. Who in their right mind would think "I need an animal to turn into a superpowerful being. A skunk! Perfect." Apparently, Joel Nafatali would and it's awesome.
This science fiction novel is heavy on the tech speak, but it's not exclusionary if you don't know your way around. The tech savvy characters discuss it in tech talk, then break down for the lay person, otherwise known as the main character. And it's all done in a way that is not condescending to the character or the reader.
Doug's story is told in the form of a blog. Since is a techie novel and the reader meets Doug after everything has already happened, this medium makes sense. Some "posts" end abruptly for various reasons, which I had a little bit of a hard time with because blogs are not in real time. But this can be easily overlooked.
I love that these characters have real names: Doug and Jamie.*
This book is great. It's got adventure. It's got a loving (if not odd) family: Doug and Jamie are like brother and sister (no romance here!), there's Auntie M, and the Skunks (two male and one female) who are like surrogate parents to Doug.
The story is fresh and entertaining. Wonderful debut.
Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sarah at GreenBeanTeenQueen. The purpose is "to highlight great reads for tweens!"
Disclosure: I purchased this title for review and my own enjoyment.
*This may sound strange, but I have a pet peeve about characters (and children) given an odd name for the sake of having an odd name. This is in no way relevant, but it was in my notes.