Review: Jed and the Junkyard War by Steven Bohls


29775943Jed and the Junkyard War by Steven Bohls

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: December 6th 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Super Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Steampunk, Action

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BLURB:

Jed is a regular kid with a normal, loving family . . . that is, if it’s normal for a loving family to drop their child off in the middle of nowhere and expect him home in time for Sunday dinner. Luckily, Jed excels at being a regular kid who-armed with wit and determination-can make his way out of any situation.
At least until the morning of his twelfth birthday, when Jed wakes to discover his parents missing. Something is wrong. Really wrong. Jed just doesn’t realize it’s floating-city, violent-junk-storm, battling-metals, Frankensteined-scavengers kind of wrong. Yet.

A cryptic list of instructions leads Jed into a mysterious world at war over . . . junk. Here, batteries and bottled water are currency, tremendously large things fall from the sky, and nothing is exactly what it seems.

Resilient Jed, ready to escape this upside-down place, bargains his way onto a flying tugboat with a crew of misfit junkers. They set course to find Jed’s family, but a soul-crushing revelation sends Jed spiraling out of control . . . perhaps for good.

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I’m not surprised JED AND THE JUNKYARD WAR was published by Disney Book Group. It’s so Disney-ish.

In the junkyard, life is different, obliging Jed to alter his perception of reality. For starters, everything is happening above the ground, as it’s filled with, well, junk. And it’s a fantasy world, steampunk at its core.

Jed is sent to the junkyard after his parents disappear under mysterious circumstances. Come on, it was supposed to be an epic birthday, not an epic bye-day!

He may not have known it right then, but Jed was prepared for all this danger, making him worthy of the challenges that come with dwelling in the junkyard. What happened to his parents? And who really was his grandfather?

It’s seriously fun. Really fast-faced, humorous and action-packed. I’m going to read the sequel for sure. The junkyard is a very interesting place.

BUT, and this is why my rating isn’t higher, I didn’t exactly enjoy reading about the secondary characters as much as I did about Jed. In STARFLIGHT, a Disney book with a crew of pirates in ‘‘space,’’ the captain and subordinates are as compelling as the heroine. Not in this book.

And maybe that’s because the background of the characters is not something the author focuses very much on. It goes fast – mishap after mishap – no time to pause!

I quite liked it though. It’s original, that’s for sure, and we all need these types of fantasy reads that propel us into a world different from ours. Recommended!
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