Superheroes still super cool
FIFTEEN- YEAR- OLD Jim thinks his life can’t get much worse than it already is. His father disappeared when he was four; his mum’s remarried a man who’s given him the painfully difficult surname of Munkers and a younger brother he can’t stand; he is accident- prone, a laughably easy target for the school bullies and is consequently perennially late and therefore on detention.
But in reality, all this is just a warm- up for when he starts seeing glowing blue creatures, his parents move the family to a tiny village without any consultation or discussion, a strange, leather- clad man begins lurking in the new back garden, someone tries to kill him, and James learns it’s up to him to save the world or life as we know it will end.
With a quick lesson in String Theory and M- Theory explaining the 11 different dimensions that make up the world, we learn there are 12th and 13th dimensions that are made up primarily of energy ( stay with me, people).
The Hoarders who inhabit dimension 13 have wastefully used up most of their energy and are intent on taking energy from the Guardians of the 12th dimension. If they achieve that, they will upset the balance of the world and it will all come tumbling down. James, it emerges, is the One; the human child who was foretold as being able to end the war that has been going on for generations. Lucky him. Not.
This wonderfully clever book by talented Tasmanian author Lindsey Little is a fantastic read for ages 12 and up, though the cover art, which doesn’t do it justice, makes it look like it’s aimed at upper- primary schoolers.
Lindsey writes with warmth and great humour, making even the String Theory lesson engaging. With a deft touch and a delightfully funny turn of phrase, she creates really enjoyable set pieces and action sequences, along with conversations that are quirky, wry and witty, such as when the character Will is trying to explain Jim’s destiny to him without much success, while they hide in a broom closet. Eventually Will simply growls, “You’re a wizard, Harry”.
Fans will be delighted to know Lindsey intends to write a second book, which will no doubt bring some clarity around some issues left open in the first instalment, and as one of those fans, I’ll be very much looking forward to it.
James Munkers: Super Freak is in stock at Fullers, available by order through other bookstores, and from www.jamesmunkers.com. Also, fans of the book might like to check out James Munkers’ own Facebook page.