You know I am a sucker for a good YA novel on occasion and yes, this is that occasion. The Rendering by Joel Naftali is a fun romp that can be shared with the young members of the family and for that, it scores some extra points. The cover looks to be something from a graphic novel, but then again I enjoy graphic novels, so I thought , how can I lose on the deal, I just couldn’t. So let’s enter the world of Doug, Jamie, Dr. Roach, The Skunks, and VIRUS shall we:
“Thirteen-year-old Doug narrates in a series of blog posts (many interrupted by either his best friend, smart girl Jamie, or the artificial intelligence who mothers him, the avatar) how he came to temporarily save the world and to be branded a terrorist and a murderer. He was innocently playing video games in the employee lounge of the biotechnology center where his aunt was a director when an insane genius ex-employee broke in, stole the equipment to digitize anyone and make his own biodroid army, killed Doug's aunt, and blew up the center (and soon the nearby town). Doug managed to escape, accidentally creating three super-powered creatures, and gaining an electronics-destroying superpower of his own with which to fight the evil Dr. Roach.”
Innocently playing video games when his aunt is killed is a great plotline. The microcosm Naftali creates in The Rendering is totally fun; the characters rock and I have to admit I am smitten with this novel, yes I used the word smitten. I am trying to increase my vocabulary and use the Thesaurus I was given at Christmas so look out. I enjoyed the genesis of Doug’s superpower, the Skunks rule and the ensuing battle is worth the read and the time spent. I look forward to discussing it with my youngest daughter once she is done with it. I have to admit the back cover is correct when it proudly pushes the graphic at the top of the page:
One Mad Scientist + One Evil Mercenary vs. Two Kids + Three Skunks= Nonstop Adventure
It is simple, it is fun, it is a good read. Enjoy it.
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