By: George Traikovich
Publication Date: March 2013
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: August 2, 2013
This fantastically unique tale offers an exceptional plot full of suspense and fun.
We begin with a group of friends: Drew, who is our leader; Spider, who is a bit dimwitted; Grady and Newton, who are as loyal as they come; and Clementine, the female of the bunch. This group is referred to as the ‘zero avenue gang’ because they live on zero avenue; this is the neighborhood with 0 jobs and a 0 future to look forward to. Basically, any small town.
These kids are gearing up for the go-kart race of a lifetime. Their favorite teacher is letting them do this as a science project. Unfortunately, the class goes completely wrong when one of the karts becomes a projectile and ends up rocketing through the historic Bixby Elementary School water tower. End result? The gang has Saturday detention all year and their favorite teacher gets fired.
Harley and a couple of his friends are the bullies in this tale. They’re even meaner than Principal Hoyt, who loves to talk about Bixby Elementary. The school was not only an estate, but was also an asylum, which means this is a very old building with cracking tiles and a roof that seems to be caving in.
New to the school is V.P. and new science teacher, Mr. Frost. This is a celebrity, of sorts, because he was once a major astronaut. Not to mention, he knows all about quantum evolution - a subject that will literally come alive inside the school’s walls.
Taking over, he shows the kids a type of gauntlet he’s created, where mice have to be smart enough and quick enough to get through various traps. Drew knows there’s something funny about V.P. Frost, and gets a seriously freaked out vibe from the guy.
Drew also has a friend; a weird lady in town called Lazy-Eye Susan. However, Susan is not exactly weird, she just knows things. She can see things with the help of her sisters Penelope and Lucy. (These three are charming; they are the Three Witches from Macbeth but with seriously kooky quirks that readers will love.)
Drew begins having nightmares and Susan may be the only one who can help. However, the odd nightmares Drew is having may just be real. The students in the school seem to be changing. They are dressing in ‘Crypto-Punk’ fashion, which basically means they look like strange monsters from really bad movies.
As the gang uncovers a secret plot involving smiley faces, brain triggers, and a school psychiatrist with a strange chair - they find themselves smack dab in a real nightmare that will pit them against a real enemy. Bring your popcorn! This is a cool adventure that provides readers with everything from an enzyme to the Army to an island to a nosy reporter.
This plot is so refreshingly fun that everyone can count on receiving the true reading enjoyment they’ve been missing.
Quill says: Go Crypto-Punk, guys and gals. All the cool kids are doing it!