Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Boy Genius Detective Agency by Robert Grey

I had a hard time really deciding what to rate this one... On the one had, it was a really quick read and it was really unique, interesting, silly, and kind of fun. On the other hand, there was such a lack of information presented, that I'm not sure is really necessary?

It's about a boy genius... whose age is never revealed, but based on context clues could be anywhere from .... 12 to 17? He's sort of girl-crazy, but doesn't care at all about his appearance; he's obviously super intelligent, but also kind of arrogant-a** about it; and he seems to be appealing to the opposite gender of various ages... ranging from, I don't know, 8 to 50? And his detective agency cohorts, Lollipop, who I think might be younger and less intelligent, and Bubble Gum, who is I think the same age as Boy Genius (aka Phidias) and perhaps just as smart. And they have started a "kid" detective agency and Boy Genius is concerned about not being taken seriously... when Wham! Boom! Bam! they're suddenly in the middle of some crazy sci-fi, super-villain, time-traveling, time-looping, telepathy whirlwind adventure. And the wham-boom-bam... it's a literal description. The book reads like a comic book, but without the actual pictures.

And it somehow works! Although there's virtually no set up of the overall book or each scene, somehow you have just enough information to mostly glean what is going on and keep turning the pages (quickly) to find out how it all resolves. And you mostly know at the end of it all. Or maybe not. Despite the plethora of unanswered questions (including, notably, how old Boy Genius and Bubble Gum are and... I don't believe we know when it takes place? (though it's definitely in the future)), it's a fun middle-grade book with bad guys, super-hero abilities, intrigue, hot women (perhaps a little too much focus on this?), and a clear ongoing plot-base (i.e., it's the beginning of a series). I think the younger generation will appreciate a book that seems much more catered to their way of thinking (maybe? at least insofar as the ADD plot & pace were concerned), though I am a little hesitant to suggest it to my friend's 12-year-old son because, really, Boy Genius has a serious wandering-eye, and it does not seem to matter how old the girl/woman is.

So. Enjoyable? yes. Quick fun read? yes. Amazing? well, no. But still recommended for something completely different.. and pretty well accomplished. So overall, THREE AND A HALF of five stars .

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