Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr. Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets by Barnaby Taylor
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (167 pages)
Age Recommendation: 8+
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
The world is going to be destroyed.
Everyone you know and love will be gone.
The world needs someone to step forward.
Falcon Boy is that someone.
You must read Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets.
It’s much easier to talk about saving the world than it is to actually try to do it.
One of the most interesting things about this book has to do with how the narrator jumps from one scene to the next. Sometimes the connections between them weren’t immediately apparent. The narrator isn’t any of the main characters, so he or she has access to information that Falcon Boy and his friends do not. Some of the funniest sections involve the narrator anticipating the audience’s reaction to what is about to happen and explaining why it’s unfolding in that particular way.
There were a lot of characters in this story. At times I had trouble remembering who was who because there were so often introduced in groups. I chuckled at the short, funny backstories the author provided about them, but there were simply too many characters in the plot for something of this length and for this audience.
Speaking of a sense of humour, this book has a great one. It was clearly written for kids based on the subject matter, but there is plenty of humor to be found for adult readers as well. None of the innuendoes are at all inappropriate for its primary audience, but some of them make references that are much more likely to amuse adults than they will elementary students.
Due to the large number of characters there were some pacing issues that began about a third of the way through the plot. So many new faces were introduced one after the other that I had trouble adjusting to Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird’s predicament once they came back into the plot. A glossary or appendix of some sort would have helped me keep the characters straight without slowing down the action.
The pop culture references were amusing. Almost all of them were general enough that they’ll apply to the tropes found in music and television for many years to come. The few that were more specific talk about things that I expect will remain well known for a long time.
Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr. Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets has by far the longest title of any book I’ve reviewed here so far. Sometimes fun things come in big packages!