by Nathan Bransford
Jacob Wonderbar series; book I
I enjoy reading Nathan Bransford’s crazily popular blog and I was pretty excited to see he had a book coming out. I dunno, it’s not often I ‘discover,’ for lack of a better term, someone before they are published.
Jacob Wonderbar is used to detentions, but when a spaceship crashes near his house, he finds himself in a whole new level of trouble. After swapping a corn dog for the ship, he and his two best friends, Sarah Daisy and Dexter, take off on a madcap adventure. They accidentally cause an epic explosion, get kidnapped by a space pirate, and are marooned on planets like Numonia and Paisley, where the air smells like burp breath and revenge-hungry substitute teachers rule. And that's only the beginning . . . It turns out that there's an entire colony of space humans, and Jacob's long-lost father just might be one of them.
My Expectations: I don't read much MG, so I just hoped I wouldn't dislike this one.
Delivery: Ooh, enjoyable fun-ness!
Put-down-ability: short chapters made it easier to return to homework, 6/10
Jacob Wonderbar. I feel that should be in all caps: JACOB WONDERBAR! I can subconsciously associate a lot of things with this, and I think just the title says a lot. It’s extravagant, fun, quirky and entertaining.
I don’t read much Middle Grade fiction, in fact, I rarely wander out of my YA bubble but every once in a while I notice something and read it for kicks—like in this case. Jacob Wonderbar didn’t blow me away, but it was a welcome distraction from homework. Guys. It takes place in OUTER SPACE. Win.
I thought the writing read easily, but it could be slightly awkward at times. A combination of third person narrative, flipping characters, and strange word choices, there might have been some missing poetic quality but honestly? At the end of the day, it didn’t really matter. It’s something I think fits really well with younger audiences.
The stand-out of Bransford’s novel is the plot; I’m grinning madly just thinking about it. There’s no confinement to this imaginative adventure as everything from corn dogs to a planet named after paisley is involved. The pacing remains consistently fun, with the short chapters and quirky plot keeping readers hooked and eager to finish. The characters are well rounded and lovable, even the villains. Can I count the spaceships as characters too? Because they are very not-boring.
Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow is an amusing tale that offers a combination of humour, action, entertainment and heart.
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable / Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: Boys! All middle grade readers :)
Acknowledgements: that last one is like, the perfect corny line ever, just for that, 5/5!
8/10 – because I really enjoyed this one. It’s not bam-bam-bam action, but it is a great blend of plot and characters and giggle-worthy moments. It pushes the boundaries of believability in a manner that YA just can’t pull off, and I commend Bransford for this inventive and original novel.
author blog / website