Posted by Venus on Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Labels: intermediate book review
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: February 14, 2008
Simon Bloom cannot believe his luck. After talking a walk in woods that he never remembers seeing, he finds a book that allows him to control the laws of physics. By reciting the formulas contained within, he can defy gravity, increase and decrease friction, and control electricity. The only problem is, the book only found him because someone tried to kill its previous owner and now they are after him.
This book was a roller-coaster of fun and confusion. In the beginning, the secret society of what I can only think of as scientific wizards talk about things that are absolute gibberish. Once Simon Bloom and his friends enter the scene, the story gains some traction, but on the whole the story itself was like a cheap thrill ride. Quick, fast paced, and entirely too forgettable. Simon Bloom is only interesting in that he is "the chosen one", not for any actual characterization aspects. His friend Owen is a little more memorable as he speaks rather quickly and has a fear of everything. Alysha has the best depth as she likes to run with the cool kids, but finds Simon & Owen to be far more interesting and misses Simon's friendship.
By the end there is a whole lot of science-based magic going on with electricity, gravity, and velocity, which was (and arguably should be) the best part of the book.
The most interesting aspect of this book was in that of the narrator. In a strange twist that was a pleasant surprise and a unique bent, the characters themselves run into their own narrator who is currently chronicling their story as that is his job. Often, the omniscient or even third-person narrator is a spectral nobody. For writers who have an interest in narrative voice, this is one of the books I would recommend reading. All in all the book wasn't bad, it just wasn't memorable either.