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The Gecko and Sticky: Villain's Lair
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The Gecko and Sticky: Villain's Lair (The Gecko and Sticky #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  143 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
The Gecko & Sticky are a fabulous crime-fighting duo! This quartet of funny adventures will appeal to fans of superheroes both young and old, and would make terrific all-family read-alouds.

Dave Sanchez is an average boy with an after-school job and a pet gecko named Sticky. All very normal—until the day Sticky talks!

Sticky tells Dave a wild tale of a former life of cr
Published February 10th 2009 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published January 1st 2009)
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The Library Lady
Kids will enjoy this. But as an adult, I found Sticky's Spanglish/Stickyese bit annoyingly reminiscent of the Taco Bell chihuahua. And the narrator's confidences to the reader "Ah-ah-ah,I warned you. But this story is true" has the same annoying ring of an award winning book I despise, The Tale of Despereaux Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread.

But again, I'm an adult and this is for kids--boy reluctant reader types, I would guess. And some of them may go for i
Jun 09, 2015 Emily rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
NOTE: This review is specifically for the audiobook version. The reader's performance may have skewed my perspective.

If you still think Speedy Gonzales is an appropriate character for the 21st century, then you may enjoy Sticky as performed in this audiobook. I'm not entirely the character, with his stereotypical exclamations, is significantly better in print; but in this format, I found him intolerable.
Feb 08, 2009 Peg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids_fiction
In this first book of a new series, Van Draanan writes an exciting tale, full of outrageous characters, fast-paced action, and lots of laughs. Stephen Gilpin’s pen and ink drawings add to the fun. This will appeal to both boys and girls and should hook reluctant readers, who will be looking forward to the next installment.
Jul 23, 2009 Nickdastick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay. First of all, when my mom put this book on hold for me at the library, I thought it was going to be a stupid book. But when I read my mom the flap I thought it sounded like a good book. My mom even said it sounded like something I'd write; I'm going to be an author when I grow up. I really liked it.
Apr 16, 2009 Libriar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Series fiction aimed at boys isn't something that I usually read so it is hard for me to compare this book to others. It was filled with adventure and light humor so I'm sure 4th grade boys will enjoy this book about a boy and a gecko.
Max Stapleton
Jan 31, 2017 Max Stapleton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I thought it was going to be long and boring, but I really liked the adventure in the book.
Jan 13, 2017 Luis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gecko and sticky villain's lair by Wendelin van draanen. It was about a gecko having super powers because of wrist band that is from the aztec that has magic powers by putting it on but the villains try to steal it for they can have powers. I would put more exciting words to make it interesting because i got bored reading it. I would recommend this book to my friend that is reading the 2 book.I give this book 3 stars i didn't enjoy reading it.
Theo kids
I really loved another series by this author - so I was excited to get this one for my kids. Unfortunately - it just wasn't the same caliber of writing. She is writing to a younger audience - and somehow that translates into a ridiculous amount of asides to the reader - delivered in the form of text in parenthesis. Occasionally, those can be fun - but over and over - it is distracting from the story (which was just average by the way- see how I am incorporating my own ASIDE - its contagious!) an ...more
The Gecko & Sticky are two of the most hilarious characters I have ever come across in literature. Sticky is the actual gecko and the “Gecko” is the superhero moniker of Sticky’s 13-year-old friend, Dave Sanchez. Confused? It makes sense when you read the book, whose tongue-in-cheek narrative style is full of asides and inside jokes for the reader.

The Gecko and Sticky actually make their first appearance within the pages of van Draanen’s four book Shredderman series–which I also highly recom
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

A boy and his pet gecko. It doesn't seem like the makings of much of an adventure, but imagine if it was a talking gecko with notoriously "sticky" fingers.

Dave Sanchez is a pretty normal kid. He lives in an apartment with his hardworking parents and his annoying sister. Life was fairly routine until the day his pet gecko announced that he could talk. He told some crazy story about helping three loco banditos in their get-rich-quick
Jul 05, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If Sticky is a gecko, and if geckos are sticky...why "The Gecko & Sticky"? I'm not about to spoil this perfectly pleasurable read for all the potential tween boy readers out there...boys, you will simply have to read this one to put it all together!

I was once an all-knowing thirteen year old boy just like Dave; well, not "just" like him, but you get my drift, so I can vouch that I would have loved to read about Dave and Sticky's perilous plot had the book only been written back in 1762 when
Kristin Rosenberg
Sticky is a kleptomaniac gecko with the power of speech. Dave is the thirteen year old kid who saved him from the neighbor's cat. Now Sticky and Dave are breaking into the nightmarish mansion of Damien Black (treasure hunter and all-around bad guy) in order to steal a magic bracelet.

Overall, I wasn't a fan of the first two chapters. The narrator sounds like a know-it-all, with a very boastful tone. I didn't connect with the characters, and I really couldn't tell you what drove them. I'm sure th
Gwen the Librarian
Apr 14, 2009 Gwen the Librarian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidlit
This is an adventurous, mysterious, and real story about a boy named Dave and his talking gecko, Sticky. No, really, it's a true story! Sticky leads Dave to a scary old mansion that is booby-trapped with hollow walls and shrunken heads. They are there to steal a magic Aztec armband that is currently in the possession of the evil villain Damien Black. The armband, combined with powerful gold ingots, gives the wearer the ability to fly, turn invisible, all kinds of things. They're stealing it beca ...more
Amy Brown
Dave and his talking Gecko Sticky are trying to get an artifact from the evil Damien Black. They enter his creepy home looking for special ingots that when combined with the wristband that Sticky already has will give superhero powers to the wearer including the ability to fly and to become invisible. This is the first book in a series. 3rd-4th grade. It has the feel to me of the Mysterious Benedict Society or the Series of Unfortunate events (with the evil character, creepy booby trapped home, ...more
Although this book made me chuckle a few times, it was just too "dumbed-down" for me to get into. I didn't even finish the first CD. If you're wondering what I mean by dumbed down, I'll explain. Roal Dahl and C.S. Lewis write (or rather wrote) great children's books without having to resort to gimmicks, oversimplified plots, and melodrama (okay so Roald Dahl got a little melodramatic every once in a while). But they just wrote well-thought-out stories that happened to appeal to adults and kids a ...more
Feb 22, 2014 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-childrens
Not a bad book, just not one that I'll necessarily recommend to people. It seems like some books written for younger audiences still entertain and enrich the audience, no matter the age. This book didn't quite reach that level of appeal.

My daughter liked it, though. So if you are about 9 years old, maybe you should give it a chance!

We really enjoyed this book's story. Struggled with the writing a bit. We never figured out who the narrator is ... the "I" in the writing. Perhaps because we started with book #3, but I think they should be stand alone even within a series. Enjoyed the story, even if very far-fetched for a city environment. Fun action story, not quite a mystery genre.
Apr 16, 2009 Laela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-fic
Dave has a talking Gecko. His talking gecko has talked Dave into retriving some magic coins that will gave super powers. The only probleme is the coins are held by evil Damien Black in a cage with a Komodo Dragon.

It's funny, and gross, with an adventure. Just what every third and fourth grade boy wants.
Jun 21, 2009 CuriousLibrarian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I tried this one out of the publisher's box when it came because the "Sammy Keyes" books are so popular at my library. I can't say that I found anything great in this series opener. It doesn't feel like a good or a bad series, just kind of there.

Grades 2-4.
Jul 13, 2015 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge Wendelin Van Draanen fan, and I've gotta say, this is the most fun I've had reading one of her books. The language and storytelling is fresh and funny, and Sticky, the talking gecko, is a riot.
Nov 13, 2012 Tressa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, juvenile
Villain's Lair was entertaining and humorous. I thought that the story was imaginative and clever. I really liked the primary characters, Dave and Sticky. I especially loved Sticky's catch-phrases. It was a very fun story.
Feb 13, 2010 Barbara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clc-2010
Adventure and silly superhero characters make this a good choice for young boys and girls who are comfortable with their chapter-book reading skills. Van Draanen knows how to write for kids who want fun, adventure and some mild thrills.
Sandra Pedicini
Nov 09, 2011 Sandra Pedicini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Look out Geico Gecko! Wendelin Van Draanen has created a fun, memorable hero in the wisecracking, Spanglish-speaking Sticky, a kleptomaniac gecko. Also a dastardly villain in Damian Black. Throw in a bad mariachi band-turned-group-of-thugs, and you've got yourself some entertaining reading time.
Apr 04, 2009 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile, fantasy
I think 3rd & 4th grade boys will love this one. Lots of creativity, adventure adn danger. A fun read.
Oct 21, 2013 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2013
Very funny book. I can see why my son likes it so much. I do think I'll listen to the others in this series.
Jun 12, 2012 Arbua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dave grudgingly agreed to Sticky's conditions:
He would never tell a soul about wristband.
He would never tell a soul that lizard could talk.
May 23, 2009 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
3/4th&up. Fast moving action, amusing dialogue, quirky and entertaining characters. Very quick read, but a lot of fun!
Debbie Petersen
Aug 01, 2008 Debbie Petersen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet another of my favorites from childhood...the adventures of Elephi aka "Well Known Cat, Formerly Kitten" is as fun to read now as it was then.
Jun 20, 2012 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Listened to this on CD with my kiddos. They liked it and want to read or listen to more. Simple but fun story.
I think these books are annoying (enough with all the alliteration lame Spanglish already) but camilo loves them. He's listened to this one multiple times...
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reading log #3 1 2 Mar 18, 2012 05:52PM  
reading log #3 1 2 Mar 18, 2012 05:52PM  
Why i choes this book 1 2 Nov 29, 2011 08:48AM  
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Wendelin Van Draanen has written more than thirty novels for young readers and teens. She is the author of the 18-book Edgar-winning Sammy Keyes series, and wrote Flipped which was named a Top 100 Children’s Novel for the 21st Century by SLJ, and became a Warner Brothers feature film with Rob Reiner directing. Her novel The Running Dream was awarded ALA’s Schneider Family Award for its portrayal o ...more
More about Wendelin Van Draanen...

Other Books in the Series

The Gecko and Sticky (4 books)
  • The Greatest Power (The Gecko and Sticky, #2)
  • Sinister Substitute (The Gecko and Sticky, #3)
  • The Power Potion (The Gecko and Sticky, #4)

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