This pseudo–science-fiction book provides laughs of all types: readers will progress from snickers to giggles to, finally, belly laughs and shouts of outrage.
A mismatched band of two adult humans, a self-activated car, and a golden-skinned cyborg begin a (seemingly) impossible task: capturing the most skillful thief in the planetary system before he destroys electrical service in 26th-century Neo City. In the Planetary Bureau of Investigation’s vast building, big-time grouch Blake Carter has his own office. The irascible Blake is the world expert on Bartholomew Badde, but he has been removed from the search for the villain—and saddled with cyborg Nicki Steel as a partner. When Badde abducts Blake’s daughter, Lisa, orders no longer count: Blake, Nicki, and Lisa’s mother, Astrid—and the car—are off on a chase to save her. The group survives riots, radioactive tunnels, and a sentient, oversized, mutated cheese sandwich. Puns, shaggy dog stories, snarky remarks, and hoaxes are just a few of the humorous elements used expertly here. And the end of the novel promises at least one sequel for readers’ delight. Nonhumans and outré skin colors are described, but there is little racial or ethnic detail provided otherwise, implying a mostly white human cast.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who fans are a natural audience for this story, but it may well build a broader readership once the word gets out. (Science fiction. 14 & up)