Inspired first novel about a high-school misfit who freaks out when he discovers his best friend has an extraordinary gift.
The trippy story begins with artistic dork Darren Bennett meeting a kindred spirit in the brilliant, equally geeky Eric Lederer. Before long they’re collaborating on TimeBlaze, a multimedia epic incorporating time travel, an evil conspiracy and plenty of video-game–inspired imagery. But while the duo spends time working on primitive drawings (incorporated in each chapter), Eric confesses an enormous secret. Not only can he not sleep, leaving him plenty of time for homework and midnight exploring, but he’s never slept. Oh, and every few weeks he enters a hallucinatory delirium. “You know that subconscious thing you were talking about?” Eric asks. (Darren has been discussing dreams.) “I think my mind just processes those things all the time behind the scenes. My imagination is something of a badass.” It’s all a big noodle-bender for his new buddy. “If Eric can exist despite the fact that Eric existing is impossible, then other things that are impossible can happen,” says Darren in just one of his insightful, occasionally profane and hilarious OMG moments. A falling-out over Christine, girlfriend of first one boy and then the other, leads Darren to spill the beans on Eric’s “thing”; soon a mysterious agent is out to capture the sleepless lad, leading to a big showdown and a genuinely unpredictable ending. A bit racy for younger readers, this geek-friendly comedy will appeal to mature teens and open-minded adults who get past the unwieldy title to find the ribald humor of a Judd Apatow movie married to a science-fiction-fantasy spectacle. Pierson is a member of Derrick Comedy, a trio known for its YouTube videos and a feature film (Mystery Team) that premiered at Sundance in 2009; let’s hope he saves some time for more books.
Is it a teen-angst novel? Sci-fi? Funny as hell? All of those things and more.