Tuesday, June 18, 2013

When Pigs Fly

Kingdom of the Nanosaurs (The Kingdoms of Time and Space #1) by David Callinan

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. 

Summary: In the tradition of 'His Dark Materials', 'Mortal Engines' and 'Lord Of The Rings', this YA trilogy blends magic with leading edge science and the paranormal with artificial intelligence.

Morgan Lane (15), gifted with a superhuman memory, finds his life and the future of humanity thrown into chaos when chosen by the Guardians to memorise and protect with his very existence ‘The Cosmic Algorithm’, the source code of creation itself.

The Guardians, aware that seismic cosmic events are unfolding and space parasites known as The Shadix are approaching the planet, send a Sun Angel to protect Morgan who, together with companions Lin Rainbow and Winston their pet orangutan, becomes his guide on a journey to where time and space are one.

Morgan’s scientist father has used nanotechnology to create a microbe that will destroy pollution and reverse climate change. Unknown to Morgan, his father’s research is being funded and secretly stolen by a millionaire oligarch, Marius Natzler, controlled by the Shadix.

The comet Cygnus Hyperbole appears causing apocalyptic tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions as the Guardians cause every animal on the planet save one to vanish. They transform Winston into a genius with the power of speech – a true missing link.

Morgan’s fate is to keep the ‘Cosmic Algorithm’ safe in order to reprogram the Continuum. Meanwhile, Marius Natzler has used nanotechnology to create ‘nanosaurs’, fantastical replacement animals: winged dogs, perfumed cats, air sharks, monstrous nano spiders and Taurus, a seventeen feet tall minotaur. Natzler craves the ‘Cosmic Algorithm’ to give him ultimate power.

Review: A decent fantasy book that suffers from a sometimes unbelievable main character and a weak sidekick.

Overall, this book had a middle grade school feel about it rather than a young adult feel like the book was supposed to have. That is not a bad thing although the reader must be prepared for a black and white division between good and evil with the good being very good and the bad being very bad. I know it is a fight between good and evil, but it could get a little much at times. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the main bad guy had started to twirl his mustache.

I know Morgan has an incredible memory and that he is a genius character, but he was often too useful and too helpful. He also seemed to deride logical decisions like Lin deciding to take food when them when they were trying to escape. I liked Lin, but I hated how she was a useless character at times. She always seemed to be fainting or passing out. I personally liked the nanosaurs although some combinations of the animals seemed downright silly. I certainly wouldn’t mind having a nanosaur or two.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy middle grade school fantasy.

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