Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

Saving the world with butt lasers

Victor Spoil is back after defeating Dr. Deplorable in How to Be a Supervillian. He's still struggling with wanting to be good even though his parents are supervillains, but now he at least has some friends who understand how he feels. He has gained a lot of information about how to rock spandex and harness his super power, which happens to be tickling people. There is, of course, the irritation of Niles, who is not only attractive and perfect, but gives Victor a hard time. Victor has come to the conclusion that he's not a fan of the job description of "supervillain" and informs his parents that he has decided instead to pursue a career as a librarian! However, when all of the parents go missing, the children (including Moldy Dave, Javy, Norman and Octavia) must go looking for them. They find them, stuck in action poses, being collected by the Commodore. In order to prevent himself from being taken into the collection, Victor claims that there is a crucial piece of the collection missing-- the amazing Captain Chaos. The Commodore doesn't quite believe him, but wants the captain, so an elaborate ruse is put in place with The Smear and an animatronic Captain Chaos to try to win back the parents and save the world.

Good Points
Fry's artwork in this notebook novel still reminds me of Berkeley Breathed's Bloom County, with Victor looking a lot like Milo, wild hair and all. Since young readers have no idea about this piece of "ancient" artwork, they will just enjoy the goofy, pop eyed characters in their saggy spandex briefs and capes.

The writing is filled with all manner of odd, anecdotal bits that don't have much to do with plot development, but everything to do with getting a laugh. Butt lasers, sparkle bombs, Nilixian Rootbeer and mind readers who have dyslexia. It doesn't hurt the nine-year-old knee slapping factor at all that many of these items (Spleen Island!) are accompanied by pictures.

Patterson has quite a collection of books he has written with others under the "jimmy" imprint, so as Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life and Treasure Hunters, but it is good that he is letting other authors have full credit in his new line of James Patterson Presents Books. Even the most reluctant reader won't be too disappointed to find these books wrapped up as gifts!
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