________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 8 . . . . December 10, 2004

cover

Mercury Man.

Tom Henighan.
Toronto, ON: Boardwalk Book/Dundurn Press, 2004.
253 pp., pbk., $12.99.
ISBN 1-55002-508-2.

Subject Headings:
Brainwashing-Juvenile fiction.
Science fiction.
Detective and mystery stories.

Grades 8-10 / Ages 12-14.

Review by Christina Neigel.

**1/2 /4

excerpt:

"Tom!" Jack croaked at him. "He's been here! The guy who was watching you."

"When?"

"About an hour ago. He drove me over to Fabricon and dropped me off back here."

"I saw him a few minutes ago."

"He didn't tell me he was going there. He must have wanted to talk to us separately. What did he say?"

"He asked a lot of questions."

"We've got to talk. Can't trust the phones. Can you meet me somewhere?"

"Sure. But not tonight. Mom and I are having pizza."

"So she said. OK. The comic book store, then, tomorrow at about ten. Call me if anything comes up."

Tom Blake is an average, unassuming teen who is thrown into a mystery adventure when he suspects a local computer company, Fabricon, of brainwashing his peers. The economically depressed community of Mechanicstown welcomed Fabricon when it moved into the area, providing employment opportunities for the locals including the local teenagers. Committed to his job at the local diner, Tom resists the urge to join Fabricon and begins to notice changes in the behaviour of his friends and peers who do work for the company. Eventually, Tom's reluctance and suspicions launch him into a quest for the truth.

     Although this book is fairly entertaining, it lacks a certain imaginative quality. The pace of the story is even, and the plot is complex enough to keep the reader involved. However, the characters are somewhat flat and predictable. As with many books produced today, there is nothing WRONG with the work, it is simply a little uninspired. Therefore, some youths may find it entertaining but not particularly memorable.

Recommended with Reservations.

Christina Neigel is an instructor in the Library and Information Technology Diploma Program at the University College of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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