Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Review: Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation by Matt Myklusch

Website of author

Hardcover Edition: 467 pages
Genre: Middle Grade SF/Fantasy
Cybil Book #11

From the website of the author is a short description(see link above to discover more)
JACK BLANK doesn’t know who or where he comes from.  He doesn’t even know his real last name.  All Jack knows is his bleak, dreary life at St. Barnaby’s Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten, and Lost.  Everything changes one morning when Jack receives two visitors.  The first is a deadly robot, straight out of one of Jack’s favorite comic books, that tries its best to blow him up.  The second is an emissary from  a secret country called the Imagine Nation, where all the fantastic and unbelievable things in our world originate- including Jack.
Jack soon discovers that he has an amazing ability- one that could make him the savior of the Imagine Nation and the world beyond, or the biggest threat they’ve ever faced.

My Thoughts

This was a fun read. I was looking very forward to reading this novel. The premise really grabbed my interest and I was excited to finally get a copy of the book to read not only for myself, but for the Cybils.

The atmosphere and setting of the book was so awesome. The whole concept of these superheroes really grabbed me from the start. I loved the machines, mechas, superheroes, villains, the city, etc. I found it so creative and great use of the imagination(even the title is quite clever).

The book is a longer read for middle grade, but many students crave these longer books. I actually just talked with a student at parent teacher conferences and I had this book on my table and a conversation started about trying to find good books that are long reads. He was off to find this book.

My only complaint I have with this book is that I wanted more action. There are so many cool characters and situations that could have contained some additional fighting scenes. The final scene at the end was great. I wanted more. However, being the first book and knowing book two is coming out next summer I understand that with any series the author has to create the relationships and dynamics to have the story further develop. I understand why there was not more action, but I want more action. Book two will hopefully have more action and fighting with these characters.

Overall, I strongly recommend this read. It contains everything for a great story adn who does not love superheroes, robots, and mechas? Give this author a chance and I cannot wait to see where he takes the story in the next chapter. I know he will have time to further work on his writing craft as I follow him on Twitter(after reading the book) and read that he is done working for MTV to be a full time writer. I wish him the best of luck.

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