- Hardcover: 232 pages
- Publisher: Laura Geringer Book (Oct. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061349119
- ISBN-13: 978-0061349119
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 21 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,474,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Mascot to the Rescue! Hardcover – 1 Oct 2008
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The story is intriguing: many of us have seen a character in a film or a book or on TV and thought "Hey, he/she looks/acts like me!" But what would happen if our fate seemed to be tied to that character? What if it seemed like whatever happened to them happened to us? It's also superbly written and executed by a master of storytelling, and while the ending may be a tad predictable it's nevertheless good clean fun for those who enjoy a light-hearted story. Josh and Kelsey are endearing characters and the reader will probably be able to relate to both the sensible and compassionate Kelsey and the imaginative Josh.
This book is infinitely more enjoyable if you're a knowledgeable comic fan, or have even a passing idea of Jason Todd, Batman's second Robin. You see, Mascot is meant to be a (likable) caricature of Jason, who was so disliked by the fandom when he was around (in the mid 80's) that he was voted to be killed off, making him one of the few comic characters whose death is more famous than his life. There is also a bit in which Kelsey comments that "they [comic fans] are complaining about everything", which is definitely true in real life. To me, it seems as if Peter David actually wrote a commentary on the state of comics and comic fans nowadays (and, to an extent, the sate of modern society itself), and disguised it as a children's book. But it never feels heavy-handed or overdone - it's mixed in perfectly with the narrative. Finally, the creator of Captain Major is called Stan Kirby, an obvious shout out to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the creators of Spider-Man (among other iconic Marvel characterers). Josh's last name, Miller, may or may not be a tribute to Frank Miller, who wrote such legendary comic stories as The Dark Knight Returns and 300.
In conclusion: pick this book up if you're a fan of fun stories with a touch of the fantastic about them, and if you're a comic fan who can pick out the easter eggs, more power to you (no pun intended).
The other problem is...all of the other characters. There are a lot of POV characters, and none of them are nearly as interesting as Josh (though world-weary comic book creator "Stan Kirby" stands out among the others). The book also keeps trying to throw in extra subplots and morals. For example, Josh's friend's dad is a widower and was suicidally reckless after his wife died, until he got shot was became disabled. This is summarized in two pages and has little to do with anything else in the book. Josh's mom starts the story depressed and in denial about her son's problems, but then suddenly switches to a new personality so we can have her being sly and joking for her romance arc.
(That's another thing. Josh's mom has a romance arc with his friend's dad. But Josh also gets a romance arc with his friend. Neither really adds to the story, and they lead to a weird "happy ending" where we're supposed to imagine that Josh and his friend will wind up as stepsiblings who date?)
So anyway, this could have been a really interesting story about a protagonist who takes his obsession too far, and how fiction affects people in positive and negative ways. Instead, we get half a book where the protagonist is not quite living up to his potential, and another half that focuses on boring characters.
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