Patrice Sartor's Reviews > Jasper Dash and the Flame-Pits of Delaware

Jasper Dash and the Flame-Pits of Delaware by M.T. Anderson
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Aug 23, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: tween, action-adventure, humor

** spoiler alert ** Jasper Dash is not only a Boy Technonaut, he is a champion for his high school’s varsity Stare-Eyes team, where you lose if you blink. Jasper is joined in a quest to save a monk friend from peril in a bizarre version of Delaware by his fellow adventurers, the, sarcastic, love-struck Katie Mulligan and supportive, slower-moving Lily Gefelty. All three characters are present in two other Anderson books, though the reader does not need to be familiar with either of them to enjoy this story.

Humor and weirdness are the main draws here, and while some readers may not fully appreciate all of the jokes, they will find enough to keep them laughing out loud. Anderson uses self-reference in sprinklings throughout the book to great comedic effect, such as his admission that he has never been to Delaware and he hopes that he hasn’t printed anything incorrect: “Everything I say is simply an uneducated guess. You are not in good hands. You are in incredibly clumsy, incompetent hands.” The levels of weirdness rise as the trio reaches Delaware, and discover kangaroo-riding cannibals, schoolchildren in smiley-face masks, and a distinct shortage of vowels in many proper names.

This title will suit those who want something quirkily funny, or fans of Anderson’s work. The story does drag a bit in parts, though this does not detract from the overall experience. The world needs more books that seem like a really strange, yet hysterical dream.
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