Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sci-Fi Saturdays: The Lab

The Lab, by Jack Heath

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc
Pages: 312
Reading Level: 14 and Up
Enjoyment Level: High

I’m trying to find more books that teenage boys will enjoy, so I picked up this one at Barnes and Noble the other day. I hoped it would be good enough that I could pass it along to my brother. Lucky for me, it is!

The Lab tells the story of Agent Six of Hearts, a sixteen-year-old superhuman who has been hiding from The Lab all his life. He lives in a world where there is one City and one Company, and he finds it impossible to hide forever. Working at The Deck, a secret agency that tries to police the masses, he’s found a place to belong, though, and he does what he can to keep his home safe.

While the first few pages of this passed slowly for me, it didn’t take long to pick up, and then it was almost non-stop action. The book takes place over a few days and we get secret agents, a corrupt governo-company, a post-apocalyptic City, and awesome (scary) robots. One character calls the time in which they live the last breaths of human society, and yet, I come away from reading the book with a smidgen of hope.

For a sixteen-year-old kid, Six is pretty paranoid. At the beginning, he’s unemotional and seems to only care about results. There is a nice character progression, though, with Six’s mentor, King, giving him advice as well as secret missions. I’m still trying to figure out if there is significance to using a playing card deck as the basis for a secret agency, but that could just be me missing something. It’s at least fun to learn about the characters and see what the different suits do around Six. I’m hopeful that I’ll see more in the next book.

And, yes, I’ve given the book to my brother to read. Reluctant readers, beware! There are books for you out there and your teachers will try to give them to you! Boys will love the action and adventure (and the short length) of The Lab.

Until next time, go read something good!

~ Vilate

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