Naftali, Joel. The Rendering.
This is a hard review to write because of the I Was Never A Boy factor. I will buy this and vigorously recommend it, but found it personally hard to get through. Indeed, Charlotte's Library said that it was not for everyone, but it IS perfect for so many middle school boys.
How could you not like this description from the publisher? "Thirteen-year-old Doug uses his blog to describe the events that led him from an afternoon of playing video games to saving the world, after one of his aunt's ex-employees broke into her biotechnology center, killed her, and then stole equipment that would allow him to digitize anyone and create a biodroid army. "
Doug's aunt has actually been digitized by Dr. Roach, who is trying to highjack the technology that her lab has come up with. Doug's parents were killed, so he was living with his aunt and spent a lot of time hanging out at her place of work, playing video games. The book flashes back to how Dr. Roach managed to get his power, told from the point where Doug is in hiding. This does read like a video game, and I had trouble with the blog format (I have trouble with letter formats as well), but there is a lot of action, which is crucial to middle grade fiction, and lines like this: (page 246) "Imagine... a flesh eating orc. Now imagine that the android and orc have kids. A drooling, armored, rabid, gene-spliced cybernetic nightmare!"
Do I want The Hyperlink when it comes out on June 26th? Absolutely!
The skunks still stalk me. I wore my skunk pin in honor of this book, as well as Pamela Service's Stinker From Space (1996)! (And see the difference in cover art? The Rendering may have a weak title, but an awesome cover!)
(Avon pin image from http://www.hookedonvintage.com)