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From the Archvillain series, volume 1

by Barry Lyga

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-545-19649-9
Publisher: Scholastic

Twelve-year-old Kyle Camden was an intelligent prankster before getting caught in a plasma storm (NOT a meteor shower) late one night while setting up a practical joke. Now he’s super-intelligent and super-strong, and he can fly. Unfortunately, the plasma storm gave similar powers (and amnesia) to “Mike,” another 12-year-old, who’s a stranger in town. Mike becomes “Mighty Mike,” a superhero (in a cape no less), as well as the talk of the town and school. Kyle decides Mike must be shown for the dolt--or alien--he is. Kyle’s pranks (in disguise as the Azure Avenger) go horribly wrong, and to the locals Kyle’s alter ego appears an archvillain. Will the town, especially best friend Mairi, ever see the truth of the matter? Kyle shares in the telling of his tale through “deciphered” secret journal entries, and the whole is good, snide fun. However, Lyga’s first for a younger audience leaves too much unresolved, even for a series kickoff.

Less a series opener than the first part of a longer single work, this offers too much setup, too little story. (Funny science fiction. 8-12)