Thursday, February 2, 2012

Creature Kid by Rashad Freeman

Title: Creature Kid Volume 1: The Teenage Chronicles
Series: Creature Kid
Author: Rashad Freeman
Length: 2650 Kindle units
Rating: 2 stars

The Plot

Anthony is looking forward to starting his freshman year of high school. He plans on having a normal year, trying out for the varsity soccer team and maybe getting up the nerve to ask out Nickie Sutherland. Sure, there are a few problems, like getting picked on by bullies and possibly witnessing his neighbor kill her husband, but who doesn’t have stuff like that happen on occasion?

Then one day, without warning, Anthony sprouts wings out of his back – wings that he has no ability to control. He can’t fly with them. He can’t even reliably keep them from popping out. And that is very bad, because he needs to keep the wings a secret. He doesn’t even want to think about what people who do to him if they found out.

The Good

The premise of Creature Kid is interesting – a boy who grows wings out of his back. (Wings that are described as a cross between eagle wings and dragon wings. I can’t really decide how that would look, so I ended up just picturing them as giant bat wings.) Anthony and his friends are both a little freaked but also kind of excited about the additional appendages, which is probably how I would feel too. Flight has always been my superpower of choice.

The book is also relatively well-written. The style and voice were compelling enough that I was convinced for a while that the book was much better than it actually was.

The Bad

Creature Kid detailed a series of events that I can only describe as completely ludicrous. There was at least one point where something so completely random and unbelievable happened that I actually laughed out loud. Unfortunately, this was far enough into the story that describing it would constitute a spoiler, so I shall have to content myself with detailing some of the earlier occurrences.

In the first chapter of the book, Anthony’s friend Mikey claims to have seen his neighbor kill her husband, so the boys decide to sneak into her house and find evidence of this. This might actually be interesting if they did anything with the information, but the entire thing just seems to be an afternoon’s entertainment for them. They promptly forget the entire thing until chapter 7, at which point they sneak back into her house and discover… well, um, nothing. Yeah, this plot line goes absolutely nowhere.

Chapter two describes Anthony’s first day of high school, in which some slightly-but-not-overly-odd things happen. Then, at the end of the chapter, we discover that this entire chapter was a dream, and we must now read chapter 3 to learn the true events of that day, which aren’t any more interesting than the dream. Before we know it, we’re a quarter of the way through the novel, and nothing supernatural has happened at all.

When Anthony finally does grow wings, he tells his friends but keeps it a secret from everyone else. Just in case anyone out there is facing a similar situation and feels that this is the best manner in which to deal with it, I must proffer this piece of advice: If you ever grow wings or a tail or scales or some other extraneous body part, the best course of action is to tell your parents about it. Chances are, if you were not bitten by a radioactive spider or dunked in neon toxic goo or subjected to some other superhero-origin-type event, your new mutation is probably genetic. Which means that the people who share your DNA most likely know about it. And even if they don’t, they’re your parents. They probably aren’t going to sell you to the government for unspeakable experiments. So tell them first. Doing so will not only get you answers; it will prevent me from thinking that you are a complete idiot.

The Romance

Anthony is 13, so his romance is more middle-grade than YA, even though he seems convinced that Nickie is “the one.” She seems to be a sophomore in high school, though she is also described as two years older than him. I guess this makes sense, since Anthony is 13 and consequently young for a high school freshman. I have to confess, though, that I find the idea of a 13-year-old boy dating a 15-year-old girl to be a little on the creepy side. Girls mature faster than boys in their early teens and all that. But, you know, if they like each other, I guess that’s what really matters. Or something.

Will I read more?

Much as I enjoy a good laugh at the expense of other people’s poorly thought-out narratives, I believe I will be skipping the rest of the series. Best of luck to Anthony and his wings, though. I hope he manages to successfully evade the government and become a functioning and flighted member of society.

See Details for Book on    Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Smashwords


Post a Comment