I enjoy reading and writing books with a contemporary, realistic feel. That doesn’t mean I can’t go outside my comfort zone every few months and delve into other genres. This time science fiction was my chosen destination and SMASHER the perfect choice. It provided excitement along with time travel, kind of a sub-genre that gets a different focus in this one.
The story is another boy saves the world adventure but with a twist. Twelve-year-old Charlie is from the 1500s and he travels to 2042. Awaiting him there is the evil Gramercy Foxx who plans to take control of every living mind. Many of the 70 chapters are short in length and the third person narrative bounces back and forth from Charlie to his nemesis. I’d have preferred a first person focus staying with Charlie the entire time, but that’s just me wanting to understand more about how Charlie’s mind works. What we are told did not go deep enough.
The only other concern I had was Charlie took to being transferred 500 years in the future all too easily. His acceptance of the new world around him seemed like a stretch. I’d be awestruck by computers, elevators, helicopters, and skyscrapers. Charlie took it all in stride like he’d just gotten off a plane and was visiting this new place.
Anyway, tech loving kids should gravitate to this one. It’s an exciting ride from the startling opening to the fantastic finish.
PUBLICATION DATE:2014 WORD COUNT: 46,651 READING LEVEL: 4.2
FULL PLOT (From Amazon):
In thirty days, a cold-hearted corporate tycoon will unleash a deadly biological computer virus on the entire world. As the public eagerly awaits his invention that promises ultimate relaxation, harmony, and community, the evil big-business sorcerer plans to put an end to freedom.
Can he be stopped? The world’s only hope is if Charlie, a math genius with otherworldly skills, and Geneva, a robotic girl from the future, can team up to track down some very dark secrets. With a method that uses atomic particles, Geneva and Charlie use “Smasher” to break through the walls of time. They travel to find an unlikely solution. But will it work?
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT SMASHER by Scott Bly
- SMASHER. What a great title for a book with a cover to match.
- Geneva is Charlie’s robotic helper from the future. The story of her past was just as intriguing as Charlies. I’d welcome a book with her as the main protagonist.
- I always enjoy a story where you know what is going to happen next, and then something totally different takes you by surprise. There were quite a few moments like this and all were page turning.
- The spider robots. I’m not a big fan of spiders but these were electric.
- The author works in the tech industry and his knowledge of it showed. Don’t expect to understand it anymore but just accept that it’s happening. Technology drives the story but doesn’t overwhelm it to the point you wouldn’t understand the plot.
He wanted to scream, but he couldn’t because of the frog in his mouth.
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.