Hector Trogg’s Perfect World by P.A. Booth
Publisher: Abas UK Ltd.
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (465 pages)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
A brother and sister – An inheritance – An assassin
Through every boring day of school Hector Trogg dreamt of adventure. He wanted to fly a fighter plane, drive a tank, and leap from burning buildings. An unusual inheritance and the world’s most feared killer turn Hector’s daydreams into reality.
While Hector’s family struggle to stay alive with the help of French special forces, Hector and his sister Kate carve a trail of destruction, aided by a dog called Bandit. The French fight for justice. The dog fights for the turkey.
Can Hector save the day?
Can Kate rescue Hector?
Can Dad save lunch?
Suddenly coming into a large amount of money cures some problems, but it can also create entirely new ones. Unfortunately the Trogg siblings haven’t figured that out quite yet.
The bond between siblings is bound to change as they grow up, and the author did a good job at providing realistic glimpses of how such intelligent and resourceful characters work together. Some of my favourite scenes in this story involve Hector and Kate’s shifting relationship. They can be very competitive at times but are never cruel.
There was a fair amount of telling instead of showing in this book. Given that many scenes are also written in the past tense, I had trouble becoming immersed in what was happening because I didn’t feel as much urgency to know what would happen next as I usually experience from such action-heavy plots. Even the most heart-pounding moments sometimes felt as though they were being recounted many years after they happened due to these factors.
P.A. Booth has a wonderful sense of humour that works quite well for this age group. I particularly liked how the author repeats certain jokes and includes references to previous shenanigans as the plot progresses. Given the serious subject matter in certain chapters, these running gags also provided a much-needed break from the building tension.
Pacing issues begin to show up after the first burst of excitement. Some action scenes are breezed through rapidly while other sections that describe the setting or introduce new characters seemed to slow down the plot. These details are important, but it would have been helpful to have some of them reserved for a little later on so that more time could be spent focusing on all of the trouble Hector and Kate find themselves in.
The science fiction and young adult genres often work really well together, and this tale is no exception to that rule. The latter has a much stronger influence on the plot, but the story becomes stronger and more interesting due to this mixing of genres. This is the kind of novel I’d give to a preteen who is curious about science fiction but prefers his or her stories to occur in a modern-day, realistic setting.
I’d recommend Hector Trogg’s Perfect World to anyone in the mood for adventure. There is plenty of it to be found between these pages!