By M.J. Shaughnessy
135 pages – ages 9+
Published by Jumping Jackalope Press on June 13, 2013
Available as an ebook sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Dane Winter, the 6th, was rich. He had everything he could want… well maybe not everything. Dane’s parents give him everything he could want but they really pay no attention to him. His parents travel to Outer Cambria a lot to help poor/sick kids, which is pretty ironic because their own kid feels so alone. Plus there’s the “little” matter that Dane has a rare disease where he’s super allergic to the sun and he can’t go outside except at night (that’s why his nickname is Gloom).
When his parents buy him a super-special suit that protects him from the UV (Ultra-Violet) rays from the sun, Dane gains his “freedom”. The suit is great and all that, but it means that he has to go to Outer Cambria, by order of his parents, which Dane doesn’t want to do because a) he has friends here in Winterville, where he lives and b) he’s pretty angry at his parents. The suit projects holographic images of Dane, so that anyone looking at him sees the real Dane, and not a weird suit. With his new suit, and his best friend, Jinx Bellamy (her nickname is Doom), Dane decides to take on the Mad Dogs, an evil group of terrorizing citizens of Winterville who are trying to take over the town (they burned down a doughnut store and a library! Can you believe that?!?), which Dane heard about from Jinx. Even though Dane and Jinx have no actual superpowers (although, the suit CAN turn into different costumes, or just plain invisible), Jinx is a black belt in TaeKwon-Do and Dane knows how to use a sword. But is that enough to stop the Mad Dogs?
I loved this book. The characters in this story are awesome. I like how Dane is rich, but is neglected (ex: his parents come from Outer Cambria to be with him on Christmas, but they do NOTHING together!), and how he seems to have it all but he has a horrible sun allergy. I think it gives more depth to the plot. Dane (the 6th) is a great character. I like him a lot. He’s got guts, a lot of money, and a nice home, but he has problems he has to overcome. This all makes Dane more “likeable” I like the idea of a normal person (especially a kid) becoming like a superhero even though they have no superpowers. I think it’s very cool. I hope that there is a Book 2 (there should be because this is a book 1 😉 ), even though this ended at a place where the book has a great ending and I felt like this part of the story was complete.