Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Book Review: The Rendering by Joel Naftali

Pros: excellent pacing and tension, nifty creatures

Cons: technology gets farcical, fun but stereotypical protagonists

For Parents: some violence

I've mentioned before when writing children's book reviews that some appeal to all ages and others just to kids.  I'd put this book in the kids category.  It was a fun romp that made good use of the blog post format to help with pacing and tension building, but by the end of the story the unbelievable technology and crazy creatures were a bit much for me.

Doug's guardian, Antie M, works for a secret weapon's laboratory.  One night, while she's working late and he's playing videogames in the staff room, evil Dr. Roach and a group of mercenaries break in and steal equipment.  Their goal: to digitize all the people in the world and create a utopic society using the protocal program and hotlink created by the lab.

As the first book in a series, this book introduces you to thirteen year old Doug - a boy who's not so good in school but rocks at videogames, and Jamie - a computer genious who wants to be a scientist when she grows up, and their Cyberskunk protectors.

The intended audience (10 and up) will love reading Doug's blog posts about how he's not responsible for the bombing of the medical facility near his town (actually the high tech weapon's laboratory).  They'll love learning about the creation of the Cyberskunks and hearing about how Doug faces Dr. Roach and mercenary commander Hund.  They'll sympathize with him when his digitized aunt comes online to tell him he has to finish his homework before doing another post.

Adults... well, it is a fun read, with some violence but otherwise no objectionable content.  The short blog posts format helps create and maintain the tension in the story that's pretty intense anyway. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved the book. And I'm 31 :). And I really really loved the snake-fridge episode and aunt M being turned into a 'computerized being'. And The writer's great sense of humor!!!