Monday, November 7, 2011
Review: The Rendering by Joel Naftali
by Egmont USA
Genre: YA Science Fiction
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 a electronics-destroying superpower of his own with which to fight the evil Dr. Roach.
I didn't love this one, but I think that younger teen boys would like it a lot. If you want to get your son into reading, and he loves video games, this would be a great place to start.
I didn't really care for the blog post format, and think a straightforward telling of the story would have been better. Normally I like quirky things like that in books, but this time it didn't really work. It was actually boring at times.
Also, the thing that bothered me most was how, when they were super pressed for time, they sat and talked about things, like what they would do after they had accomplished what they needed to in their two hour deadline. Talk about that after! It got on my nerves.
I would definitely recommend this to teen and pre-teen boys, especially ones who haven't read a lot.