This is the third book I have read by Mark Griffiths this year, and he is fast proving himself to be a master of writing crazy, off-the-wall science fiction stories for the 9+ age group. You can read my review of the first of his books, Space Lizards Stole My Brain, here and although I have not yet written a review of the sequel, Space Lizards Ate My Sister, I can assure you that it is just as funny and wacky as its predecessor.
January 3rd 2013 sees the release of his third book, and with it the start of a brand new series. No longer focusing on aliens invading Earth, but still firmly rooted in the traditions of science fiction, Geek Inc: Technoslime Terror is another riotous and hilarious sci fi adventure story for middle grade kids. Mark Griffiths has obviously taken The X-Files as his inspiration for his new series, but instead of Mulder and Scully, agents for the FBI, we have Barney and Gabby, ordinary school kids.
Barney is the new kid at school, having to join in Year 8 due to his father having to relocate from Kent to the north-west of England. Two weeks in and he still hasn’t made any friends, and in an effort to avoid the attentions of the school’s resident thugs at lunchtime he decides to try joining a club. None of the activities on the official list grab his attention, but he is drawn to a handwritten addition that simply says: “Geek Inc. Investigating the impossible! Room U13”. Deciding that this sounds marginally more appealing than netball, salsa or chess Barney ventures into U13, meets the eccentric Gabby, and very quickly finds himself elected to the role of Vice-president (he is the only other member).
It isn’t long before he finds himself assisting Gabby in her investigations into how a grandfather clock can move on its own, and then the greater mystery that surrounds fellow pupil, Lewis Grome. Naturally there also needs to be a villain who does everything they can to impede the investigations of your geeky duo, and you don’t get much nastier than Gloria, a pupil who terrifies everyone else at the school, from Y7 up to sixth form, teacher and the Head. Gloria is not your typical school bully; instead she runs the school’s newspaper, and anyone who falls foul of her can expect to have their reputation completely destroyed by her scurrilous articles, with journalism that would make even the editors of British tabloids blush with shame.
Geek Inc: Technoslime Terror is a cracking start to a new series and is sure to be a hit with kids who demand a heavy dose of silliness in their books. The books is scheduled to be published on 3rd January, and my thanks go to the lovely people at Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy to review.