Monday, August 17, 2020

The Return of Meteor Boy?

The Return of Meteor Boy?
by William Boniface
Recommended Ages: 10+

Ordinary Boy is the only kid without superpowers in Superopolis, but only he can save the town from another plot by the nefarious Dr. Brain Drain – who hasn't let a little thing like his own fiery death stop him from trying to destroy the world. Other things OB finds himself needing to stop include the vain, self-promoting Amazing Indestructo's plan to exploit the memory of his sometime sidekick Meteor Boy, after spending the last 25 years trying to obliterate all memory of the young hero who sacrificed himself to save the city back then.

Also, a team of hippie villains keeps stealing the giant metal cone off the top of OB's uncle's ice cream truck. Also, OB's dad and his team of second-string heroes are trying to set a record for baking the biggest cake ever for the school bake sale, leaving behind a disaster-level mess. Also, OB has one week to invent a time machine for the science fair, in partnership with an annoying, seed-spitting, lisping classmate named Melonhead. And finally, the gym teacher has brought back dodgeball. All of which may spell the end for Ordinary Boy and his friends, Plasma Girl, Halogen Boy, Tadpole and Stench.

This is an often funny, at times thrilling, always entertaining look at growing up in a town where everybody (but you) is super. Many of the supers have really offbeat powers that may actually be more of a hindrance than a help to their lives of heroism, villainy, or just getting by. There's a guy named Pincushion, who keeps a wide range of weapons handy by sticking them through himself. There's the Animator, who brings inanimate objects to life. There's a villain who can turn rainbows solid, a guy who flies around the room like a deflating balloon when he gets a puncture, a hero who always knows which way is north, and even one whose specialty is spreading feelings of gloom (and he, funnily enough, is a good guy). There are also, naturally, a couple of characters whose true loyalties, either for good or evil, prove to be a surprise.

But the biggest surprise of all (unless you have super-brain powers of precognition) is the role O Boy will play in making sure Meteor Boy makes a comeback at the moment when everything depends on him. The discovery he makes puts a touching, yet fittingly goofy, spin on Ordinary Boy's reality and his role in it.

This is the middle book of the "Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy" trilogy, between The Hero Revealed and The Great Powers Outage. Boniface is also the author of numerous children's picture books, many of them focusing on holidays, and of a horse-breeding novel called Studs.

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