Following Sven Carter & the Trashmouth Effect (2017), the heroes go on a wild road trip to save the world.
Sven may have taken out Dr. Shallix, but some of the doomsday-plotting villain’s words have stuck with him—mainly the revelation that Sven isn’t just a singular Synthetic—a Tick—that’s been built as a Soviet superweapon against humanity, but that he’s actually Seven Omicron—meaning One through Six are still out there. It’s up to Sven’s group to prevent the Synthetics from using the Omicrons for their designated nefarious plans, but first the other six must be found. Synthetics are hot on the heroes’ trail, and Sven’s subjected to the inhumanly terrible pop music his human traveling companions love. Along the way, there’s action of course, in fights against delightfully disgusting Ticks—tentacles and centipedes—as well as tension within the group. Most disturbing for Sven is a voice he starts hearing, telling him the humans will never accept him and so he should fulfill his purpose and eliminate them. New characters have large, charming personalities, including computer-savvy Asian twins who diversify the otherwise mostly white cast. On top of the stereotypical association of Asian heritage with STEM expertise, one is blind but can “see” artificially—an unfortunate trope. Of the returning characters, Will fades into the background; his OCD’s occasionally mentioned as analogous to the Ticks’ programming and played for laughs. After the ending’s dust settles, there’s still room for another installment.
A funny if not always nice popcorn read. (Science fiction/adventure. 9-12)