Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cosmic Review

Book Talk: Liam is not your average twelve-year-old.  He's taller than most adults and he's already started to grow facial hair.  A lot of the time, this can be a real drag--like when the other kids start calling him 'wolverine' but when Liam decides to make the most of it by pretending to be an adult he finds out that what sets him apart can lead to experiences that are totally cosmic.  The only problem is that now he's stuck miles above Earth, in space, with a bunch of kids.  Suddenly pretending to be a dad isn't so much fun, and more than anything what he wants is his own father to come and save them all.  But his father doesn't even know where he is, and even if he did, how could he get to them in space?

Rocks My Socks: The narrator is delightfully snarky, I particularly enjoyed his remarks on golf: "When you say 'hazard' to normal people they think of ice on the road, or fog, or sudden invasions of Night Elves.  Golfers think you mean sand.  Or a puddle with a duck in it."  This comment comes after chips his ball into the back of the golf cart to get it onto the green.  That's my kind of golf game!  The narrative voice is definitely what kept me turning the pages.  I also enjoyed the exploration of the father/son relationship.  By pretending to be a father, he gains a unique perspective.  He even borrows his dad's parenting book to use a manual, which leads to some good comic moments.

Rocks In My Socks: The premise of the novel is completely preposterous.  No one is going to send four kids and an adult into space after a week's training with no professional to accompany them.  I don't care how sketchy the group is, if they have enough wherewithal to send people to space they'll have enough common sense not to send unescorted children up.  This novel definitely requires a heaping spoonful of suspension of disbelief, and the portion was so big it was hard to swallow.  The plotting and characterization is also pretty standard and predictable.

Every Book Its Reader: 4th grade and up.  I'd give it to fans of humor looking for a light read.  The main character plays World of Warcraft a lot and makes analogies between that and his life throughout the novel.  A knowledge of MMORPGs isn't necessary to enjoy the novel, but fans of online gaming will definitely get more of out the novel than non-gamers.

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Support your local bookstore and buy it through indiebound or check it out from your local library

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