lundi 30 juillet 2012

The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow: Surreptitious Superhero by Lorin K. Barber

Hello to all,

                       a new week is starting so it's time for a new book to be introduced to you. To change a bit from the steampunk - which genre you could perhaps have another review really soon- today you get a YA book from a new author for me Lorin K. Barber and his book: " The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow : Surreptitious Superhero", a long title but very appropriate. 


Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Publication: 2012
ISBN:  1599559293
Genre: YA
Violence: mild

Language: normal
sex: none
Public: 15+
Source: A copy in exchange for an honest review

Short description from goodread :

 Copernicus H. Stringfellow, a.k.a. Nick, is not your run-of-the-mill genius. His mind is so powerful it can stop a speeding automobile or stem internal bleeding. As Nick goes about quietly doing good, he discovers that his powers are greatly enhanced by the nutrients present in Twinkies. Follow Nick on his amazing adventures in this humorous and exciting action-packed book for all ages.

My opinion:

          Mostly it was an enjoyable story. I don’t know why but at first I was expecting Copernicus to be a way younger, a teenager instead of an adult. He is an original character really intelligent, a true genius but also a young man who has some difficulties to fit in the normal world. He is really kind and wants to make good, to set things right but his language and lack of social skills make things harder for him sometimes. He isn’t arrogant at all, quite humble even, and manages to have hundreds of friends but at times when in a normal conversation his intellect makes him stand out because he doesn’t comprehend the innuendo, the allusions and go straight for the facts. It can be funny for others but not sure it’s the same for him.
He needs some adaptation at the emotional levels to better comprehend other people but every genius are lacking in it or so it seems. A lot of his reactions are still similar to those of a child, the way he gets back to some characters in a no aggressive way but more like a joke, how he does something just he feels like it and it is one of the reasons why he doesn’t see the problems growing at the hospital for example.

The writing style is showing some promises while not at his peak. The space of the story is a bit too unequal for my taste some chapters are only one page, other several. Then for example the plane’s part of the story was really too slow in comparison of the rest. Yes the confusion needed to be shown but after a paragraph or two all the analytical- or lack of it – vision of his situation got a bit boring and a younger reader could loose interest.
The twinkies are important ok but sometimes I would have love more synonyms, descriptions for it.

One thing also that really bothered me was how the author thought and included the abduction part.  The story is about Copernicus yes and all the other characters are less developed but I like to find a closure. While the big story and book have it, the author seems to have forgotten those little girls. We know what happened to the first one or more exactly that she is found we read all details for the fourth one, more essential to the general story I agree, but nothing for the other two. We don’t know if they are alive or not, what happened to them, we don’t know the reason behind those kidnapping and for me there should have been something about it even if the author wanted to target a younger audience there was a way to put it into words no matter what  Lorin Barber decided as their fate.

Now like I said the book in itself has an ending, a closure and one really interesting by the way. The moral of the book to help others, do good is well explained even if Copernicus does use his powers not exactly when and how he should in a lot of occasions preferring to ask forgiveness later.

A good read even for younger readers but in that case it could be better as a school assignment for example so they could speak about it and share they thoughts because some important topics are introduced in the story like domestic abuse, murder, harassment, child abuse etc so it would better if there was a group discussion for example to help smooth things and not just let the younger ones alone after their reading.

Score:  3,5 /5

Source: a copy in exchange for a honest review, no other compensation was received.

If you want this book you can buy it on amazon or on Bookdepository

You can find more informations about the author Lorin Barber on his Blog

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