Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guest Reviewer: iBoy

By: Kevin Brooks
Guest Reviewer: Alicia Scully, MPL Youth Services Intern
(4 out of 5 stars)

“She moved closer to me, put her hands to my face, and kissed me softly on the lips.
God, it felt so good.
So perfect, so right...
It felt so good, I nearly fell off the roof.” 

Description from Goodreads:
What can he do with his new powers — and what are they doing to him?

Before the attack, Tom Harvey was just an average teen. But a head-on collision with high technology has turned him into an actualized App. Fragments of a shattered iPhone are embedded in his brain. And they're having an extraordinary effect on his every thought.

Because now Tom knows, sees, and can do more than any normal boy ever could. But with his new powers comes a choice: To avenge Lucy, the girl he loves, will he hunt down the vicious gangsters who hurt her? Will he take the law into his own electric hands and exterminate them from the South London housing projects where, by fear and violence, they rule?

Not even his mental search engine can predict the shocking outcome of iBoy's actions.

Alicia's Review:
Tom is a good kid living in a bad neighborhood, and one day that catches up to him. Someone throws an iPhone off the top of a 30 story building and Tom is hit in the head, an event that causes bits of the iPhone to meld with parts of Tom's mind. Tom can suddenly do everything that an iPhone can do and so much more. With his newfound powers and his need for revenge concerning the gang rape of his lady love, Tom becomes iBoy and begins his path as a vigilante.

The pacing is steady enough, the premise is a cliche with a new spin, and the mixture of technical and colloquial writing fits the plot perfectly. All of those points considered, it was extremely difficult for me to get through, maybe because I wasn't expecting it to be so realistic in terms of the violence. With a plot like it has, I was expecting more camp but it was really well handled. I would say in terms of content and Brooks's ways of addressing difficult content, the book gets 4 stars. It's not something that I would reread often though, so it may actually be lower or closer to 3 in my mind.

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