Mark's Reviews > The Perils of Quad

The Perils of Quad by Carl Joglar
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's review
Jul 28, 09

bookshelves: sci-fi, young-adult
Read in June, 2009

This book was given to me by the gf's Dad. It was self published,
which instantly attracted my attention. As a fellow striving writer, I
admire Carl Joglar's gusto to self publish and get his work out there.
However, I'm left with some conflicting thoughts after finishing it.

First of all, Joglar is a very gifted writer. His words flow easily
and is able to construct scenes that are very visual without seeming
wordy or excessive. There were several times when I had to stopped
myself and admire a well developed line or phrase that stayed with me.
It's clear he has a background in writing and has greatly developed
the craft.

The biggest problem I had with the book is that I feel like its stuck
in a bit of an identity crisis. For the most part, I would
characterize the story as a wholesome, pg-ish tale, complete with alot
of "ah jeezs" that make me think of a 50s sitcom where the
rambunctious little boy breaks his neighbor's window and has to sell
lemonade to earn enough to fix it. But then there are some parts that
just don't fit into this mold. What exact age group is this directed
towards?

I don't often comment on the cover, but this one really threw me for
a loop. It's dark and serious which really is quite the opposite of
the tone of the book. There are quite a few more serious elements
which makes me think this is meant for older high school kids. Bodi is
17, so theres a start. Bodi's relationship with his Mom is a serious
matter and, honestly, poorly constructed. Joglar has Bodi moving from
foster parents to foster parents because his mom is, or was, not
exactly sure, a drug addict. And despite the fact that she was deemed
such a hazard that she could no longer take care of her teenage son,
he seems to hold absolutely no ill will towards her or the struggles
her habit has caused him. Bodi calls her "fun" to hang out with when
they do get their time together and there is no tension between them
at all. In fact, Bodi has a harder time forgiving his dimension
crossing father for abandoning him rather than the mother who chose
drugs over her son.

Really?

But besides those, the rest of the story feels like a comic book
geared more towards middle school. All the characters, from the quirky
nerdy scientist, the evil scheming one, the hot and cool love interest
with the over the top name that screams "I'm unique," and it goes on
and on, all are very cookie-cutterish and simple. Everything you think
is going to happen in the plot happens. And this is all fine and good,
but not at a high school level for the most part. And if it is geared
to middle school kids, then the whole drug thing sticks out and Bodi
should be younger.

Part of me even feels that this book would have worked out better as a
graphic novel, which would highlight all the action scenes near the
end with everyone going crazy with their super powers. Although that,
would then limit Joglar's very very beautiful prose. A conundrum.

Overall, I landed on a 3 for a rating. If you have a child who loves
comic books and super powers and such, he/she will dig this probably
more than I did.
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