Just when you thought the world was safe from dastardly supervillains, along comes another threat to mankind in the shape of ‘My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord’ (to get the full effect you have to say that in a big, booming voice). The sequel to the critically acclaimed and prize winning ‘My Brother is a Superhero’ is absolutely marvellous. Prepare yourself for another nail biting adventure from the magnificent David Solomons featuring ‘Star Lad’, ‘Dark Flutter’ and the less impressive (prepare yourself) ‘LUUUKKKKEEEE’. Ok even is you say it with an incredible momentum it still doesn’t quite have the superhero ring to it. Poor Luke, he has managed to miss out not once, but twice on being granted superpowers due to ‘catastrophically timed wees’.
Luke is convinced that his gym teacher – who looks just like a praying mantis with her bulging eyes – is a supervillain. With his extensive comic-book knowledge he knows that all supervillains have alter egos, Miss Susan Dunham or Sue Dunham (Pseudonym – do you get it) clearly must be up to no good. But when nobody believes him that earth is at risk once again, Luke is forced into a corner and left with no choice but to make a dodgy pact with his arch nemesis Christopher Talbot. Can Luke really make a difference and prevent an alien attack from happening with only his extensive knowledge of comic books as his primary weapon? It seems unlikely, how can he possible save us from extermination, when he can’t even get picked for the football team at school.
This book is stuffed full of humour, excitement and the unexpected. I really thought that ‘My Brother is a Superhero’ couldn’t be beaten but David Solomons has created a comic masterpiece full of thrills, spills and laugh out loud moments. Although it is the subtle humour which I particularly enjoy. For me this is the book’s unique ‘x-ray vision’ its very own brand of superhero power which makes it truly special. One of the small details that made me really chuckle is when -desperate to get Zack and Lara to include them as part of their crime fighting assemble – Luke and Serge are trying to create a cool acronym for their group like ‘S.H.I.E.LD’ or ‘T.H.U.N.D.E.R’. Instead they best they can conjure up is ‘S.C.A.R.F’ or my preferred the ridiculous but brilliant ‘S.P.A.T.U.L.A’ It is incredibly witty, clever and impossible to put down, one of the funniest books I’ve read this year. And finally I couldn’t possibly forget to mention just how gorgeous the book is, the photo doesn’t do it any justice. The brilliant designer Nicola Theobald joined forces with the illustrator extraordinare Laura Ellen Anderson (the alter ego of Evil Emperor Penguin) who in their quest for world domination have built a hidden gamma ray within the strikingly, vivid cover so that it will zap your mind forcing you to pick it up and read. You will be totally compelled!! You will have no choice but to obey!! With its stunning red cover jacket and royal blue tipped pages it will sit very nicely on your bookshelf right next to ‘My Brother is a Superhero’.
A huge thank you to Fiona Scoble and Nosy Crow for sending me a copy of this book.