The Nerdy Dozen, Book 1
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Nerdy Dozen brings online gamers together in the real world to rescue missing pilots and top-secret technology. Their online relationships inform the way they work together, side by side, on their mission. Protagonist Neil tends to follow his own course, leaving a home where his mother has sent him for the weekend and disregarding orders. Neil is deeply upset to learn that his closest online pal is a girl. There's minimal violence and a lot of silliness.
What's the story?
In real life, Neil Andertol is an underachieving target for bullies. But, online, he's famous as ManofNeil, a contender to take the top spot in the online jet-piloting game Chameleon. Real and virtual reality abruptly become enmeshed when Neil is snatched off the street and taken to an Air Force base. He's one of 12 top gamers recruited to rescue two pilots and recover the top-secret Chameleon jet. To pull off the mission, Neil will have to deal with his online archrival, an island populated by ostriches, and a vengeful boy bent on being the most important game developer ever.
Is it any good?
THE NERDY DOZEN, debut author Jeff Miller's first book in a new series, is a campy, over-the-top adventure that's well suited to reluctant readers and newcomers to the spy-kid genre. It's clumsily constructed, with flabby writing, hammy characters, and plot holes big enough to fly a jet through. Kids who don't mind the bumpy going will enjoy the silliness, and fans of online games will enjoy Neil's dream-come-true story. The best scenes put Neil at the controls, whether it's in front of a screen or in a cockpit. Each of the Nerdy Dozen previously played solo at home, but when the stakes are high they need to forge real connections and work together.