Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

“You need to try and make some friends.” Liam’s dad tells him. But Liam prefers his online friends in the game World of Warcraft:

The point about World of Warcraft is that the other players don’t know how tall or short or fat or thin you are, they just accept you for what you are – namely, in my case, a highly skilled Night Elf with healing powers. (28)

This means a lot to Liam, who has trouble fitting in with his classmates because at 12-years-old he already has facial hair and is really, really tall. Most people – car salesmen, the clerk at Newz and Booze, even his headmistress – mistake him for a grown-up. Instead of being bothered by this, Liam uses his height as an advantage for seeking out adventure, much as his online buddies seek out quests. Often this means pretending his classmate, Florida, is his daughter, and heading into town to, you know, test drive cars…

Luckily, Liam has a dad who cares. A dad with a phone that is linked to Liam’s so he can see Liam’s location whenever necessary.

But Liam is Gifted and Talented. He manages to pose as his own father and enter a contest to win a trip to Infinity Park in China, where founder Dr. Drax boasts the Biggest Thrill Ride in the History of the World – The Rocket. When he is chosen as a winner, Liam talks celebrity-crazed Florida into going with him as his daughter, and lies to his parents about taking a field trip instead. Thus the stage is set for the biggest adventure of Liam's life: riding The Rocket? No…being a dad.

Remember how you felt at the end of Field of Dreams, when Ray and his dad have a catch? This book captures that feeling and pairs it with a with a humorous space adventure. Add the well drawn characters and the references to World of Warcraft (which you don’t need to be familiar with to enjoy) and the result is a quirky yet unforgettable homage to dads everywhere.


Patti said...

This book sounds so good. I need to pick it up.

DogEar said...

You have me hooked too. I just put it on hold. Now I just need to wait for it to be processed (I hate our outsourced processing!).