Thursday, April 14, 2016

Scrap City by D.S. Thornton

Scrap CityScrap City by D.S. Thornton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review copy provided by Netgalley

This book sucked me in and stole hours of sleep, something I don't get enough of as is, but I don't hold that against it because it gave me hours of pleasure in return. It was hardly typical of the fantasy genre with the overabundance of robot-like characters called Scrappers, but this was a worthwhile read in the fantasy genre.

Jerome Barnes is a protagonist that comes with a lot of baggage. His mother and his younger brother, Max, died tragically in an accident and Jerome blames himself. As a result, he isolates himself from others as he has lost all faith in the dependability of relationships. His father is dealing with the loss by throwing himself into his work as a real estate agent, making Jerome feel even more isolated.

The story springs out of Jerome tagging along on one such real estate deal, as his father attempts to convince the town junkman to sell his junkyard to a developer. While at the junkyard, he meets a mechanical boy named Arkie and is drawn into a secret world that exists at the junkyard.

This book really had me hooked from fairly on. At times, Jerome was hard to take since he puts on such a flinty exterior, treating Cici, a girl who tirelessly tries to be friends with him, like a nuisance, but you can tell through it all that he is just a kid dealing with a bad situation in the only way he knows how.

The Scrapper world of Smithytowne is definitely the most alluring part of this story. It has a Hogwarts-like appeal,a world that exists alongside the rest of the world, yet remains entirely undetected. There is a magical element in what brings the Scrappers to life, but it's a minimal piece of the story. Mostly, the story is centered on equal parts mystery and adventure as Jerome becomes more entangled in the world of the Scrappers and the effort to save the junkyard that Smithytowne lies beneath from what turns out to be an evil developer.

While I don't read stories like this often, I was impressed by this from start to finish, and I am certainly going to add it to my library collection as soon as I can. I recommend that elementary and middle school libraries all do the same. If you don't, you're missing out. This was a real pleasure to read.

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