Tuesday, November 10, 2020

How to Save the Universe (Dimension Why #1)

Cusick, John. How to Save the Universe (Dimension Why #1)
September 29th 2020 by HarperCollins
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

In the present day, Lola Ray is heading off on an airplane with her mother and younger siblings (for whom she is often responsible) to visit her father. When she sneezes when heading through security, she is rocketed forward in time to the 31st century. There, she meets Phineas T. Fogg, whose parents are always traveling and who leave him alone in his high tech apartment with just an animatronic teddy bear, Teddy, for company and protection. His parents are owners of a company that manufactures hypergates, and their partner, Goro Bolus, is super creepy and probably up to now good. Phin is glad of a little excitement, but since time traveling is illegal, the Temporal Transit Authority, and the Bog Mutants who are employed by it, are hunting Lola down. The two manage to escape Phin's apartment using baked beans, which are apparently the perfect substance for stabilizing worm holes, and are of on a kooky adventure to try to stay alive and get Lola back to her own time. If Lola falls into Bolus' hands, the planet will be doomed. Dealing with comsumercators, the Triumvirate of Pong, talking cats (named Mr. Donut), and other somewhat silly entities, will Lola and Phin manage to get Lola home? And since there is a book two in the works, (Revenge of the Sequel) what new adventure will the two encounter?
Strengths: The author has a lovely note at the beginning on how humor helps people deal with difficult things, and we certainly need things like that now. Lola and Phin are appealing characters, and there is nonstop action and goofy antics all through this book. The plot is simple enough to make the time travel and future world easy to comprehend, and the story moves quickly.
Weaknesses: My readers don't particularly like this flavor of science fiction book. This is sort of Hot Cheetos flavored-- some people really, really like them, but others are not fans at all. 
What I really think: This is perfect for fans of goofy speculative fiction like Henry Clark's What We Found in the Corn Maze and How It Saved a Dragon, Jasper Fforde's The Last Dragon Slayer, Carmen's Floors. I think I'll stick with pushing Melissa Landers Blastaway, which is somewhat similar but not as goofy.  

Ms. Yingling

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