Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation (Jack Blank Adventure #1)
Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation is wildly imaginative, exploring a whole new world, yet it falls into the trap of so many sci-fi/fantasy booksit explains rather than reveals. The author doesnt gradually unfold the world for us; he throws entire narrative chunks at the reader. He offers the reader factoids that the main character cant possibly know and this spoils the illusion of discovery. The author has become so excited about the world hes created that he focuses on explaining it, instead of letting his character explore it.
On the other hand, plenty of excitement and action abound here. The comic book flavor and the empowering of a young man will appeal to a solid readership and might inspire non-readers to pick up the book. While not great literature, this book would make a fine read for boys who love comic books, detailed sci-fi/fantasy and the otherworldly.
First, we have Jack. He’s had a pretty miserable life at the orphanage, so when he finds out he has super powers and there’s a place where he belongs, he’s pretty ecstatic. But then he gets there and almost everyone in Imagine Nation hates him. Jack gets a little down at this, understandably, but he doesn’t give up. He pushes onward working to develop his powers and prove he’s not the person everyone thinks he is. Sure, he gets a little worked up and emotional sometimes, but he’s twelve so it’s pretty understandable. I don’t even think I could handle the type of stuff Jack does and I’m 20!
I’ve never really been into superheroes, but I still found them really fun to read about in Jack Blank. And there are so many different types! There’s everything from people with true super powers like flight and super-stretchiness to androids.
I really thought the pacing was great. There’s plenty of action and adventure with just the right amount of downtime in between for the perfect balance. Plus, there’s quite a few mysteries sprinkled in to keep you wondering about everything. Jack Blank does a good job of leaving you wanting a sequel yet still satisfied with the ending.
My one main problem with Jack Blank was the side characters. I’m hoping for a little more of all of them in the sequel. I feel like despite the fact that we could see growth in some of them they were still just background noise.
The Nutshell: If you like your middle grades full of action, mystery, superheroes, and plucky young heroes then Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation is for you.