Series: Nikolas and Company: Episode #1
By Kevin McGill
Illustrated by Carlyle McCullough
233 pages (ebook reviewed) – ages 12+
Published Aero Studios on January 2, 2014
14-year-old Nick desperately wants to get off Earth (a dystopian/futuristic Earth). His parents are crazy, he sees injustice all around him and he feels drawn toward the moon, as if it’s his real home. Nick tries everything to run away and hop a ride to the moon even though life there is much less comfortable compared to his privileged life on Earth. And then there’s the voice in Nick’s head that keeps repeating the same warning message.
Yeri is a driver for the Fungman, Zedock and Josiah Stagecoach Company. He lives on the moon. Not the moon you see in Nick’s world, but the moon from tens of thousands of years ago, when the moon was tethered to the Earth through a magic force. The moon was packed with life, both human and other, and magic. Yeri was responsible for trying to save the lives of a group of Mermen (or Merrows as they are called) who inhabit the moon and walk on its surface in automaton legs.
These two worlds are destined to collide – only first Nick has to figure out how he’s going to explain to his parents that he blew up their shed, dismantled his dad’s Validate (some sort of futuristic vehicle) and set Hiker’s Canyon on fire.
First of all the book gets bonus points for an awesome cover. The story is really what is depicted on the cover – excitement – danger – steampunk meets Harry Potter meets Doctor Who. The story plot, characters and setting are so good, I can’t get it out of my mind. The book is one where you literally have to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. The steampunk (mixing of old and new technology and lifestyles) feel to the book was an extra for me. The alternate world Mr. McGill created is incredible! The story is totally unique and one that I found fascinating. There are a couple of creepy things that go on in the book (for example the government runs refugee camps where the people who live in them are actually owned by an organ donating company) that may not be appropriate for younger kids, but there is nothing graphic about it and there is no bad language. I’d rate it at a 12+ age level.
This book is so close to total and complete awesomeness – like Percy Jackson/Redwall awesomeness, but it made me mad too. I actually yelled at the book when it ended because it didn’t end in a cliff hanger, it ended in the middle of the story! >:/ The reader (me) had no sense of completion. I know it’s the first book in the series, but in my opinion, it needed some kind of end. The beginning chapters were a bit confusing and they drug down the rest of the book a bit. I had to reread in a couple of places. After getting past them the rest of the book flowed easily. Mr. McGill’s writing style is a joy to read. His imagination is incredible. I actually went back and forth on giving this book 3 (good) or 4 (great) bookworms (mostly because I was mad at the ending), but I literally can’t keep the story out of my head. Any book that can do that gets the extra worm. I will be reading Episode 2!
Check out the book’s trailer!
Categories: Age 12+