Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Con Quest!

Maggs, Sam. Con Quest!
June 23rd 2020 by Imprint
E ARC provided by Netgalley

Cat and Alex Gallo are at GeekiCon because their parents are the authors of the cult favorite Ducky McFowl and are participating in a panel discussion. Cat loves comics and is determined to win Con Quest, a slightly illegal contest that awards the winners time with a famous celebrity but is not sanctioned by the con. Alex, who may be somewhat neurodiverse, does not like crowds or being touched, and would just rather play video games of construct with Legos. Their older sister, Fi, is supposed to be babysitting them, but the twins know that there DoubleTrouble team doesn't stand a chance at beating Team Dangermaker for the prize. They elude her and try to work their way through the various challenges, get into trouble several times, so they are stalked by James M., a security guard who wants the con to be attended only by people who know and love comics, and not by rowdy youngsters like the twins. While trying to hunt down her siblings, Fi runs across Rowan, who goes to her school, and the two have an instant connection that turns into an interesting flirtation. Cat and Alex have a lot of success in the quest, but Cat cheats at one point, which makes both her and Alex feel bad. Will they get in big trouble with their parents, or will their Con Quest be successful?
Strengths: Maggs has done a lot of work with comics and geek fandom, so the background knowledge here is impressive, even if there are a lot of pretend fandoms, like Star World (Star Trek cum Star Wars?). She aptly portrays the sorts of activities and personae that one would find at a con, and also works in some of the gender politics that have been problematic for this population. Cat and Alex are typical middle graders-- they have a lot of interesting plans that they haven't quite thought out. The plot arc with Fi and Rowan is interesting, and will pull in my readers who want more LGBTQIA+ stories.
Weaknesses: As an adult, I had a lot of trouble with Cat's actions. She's disobeying so many people in order to win a questionable contest. Students won't mind, but her ill thought out actions made me cringe on more than one occasion, and there seemed to be no consequences from her parents.
What I really think: I will probably purchase this because I always need humorous stories and there are a few students in my school interested in comics and cosplay, but certainly wish that Cat and Alex had been more pleasant characters.

No comments:

Post a Comment