I loved this series of books! I have some confessions to make before I tell you about the book itself:
1) In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a big geek.
2) I grew up in the 1980s.
3) I’ve always been a sucker for X-Men.
If any of those three statements also apply to you, then you’ll probably enjoy these books as much as I did.
It’s 1984, and Scott hearts Janis. He’s a nice kid, but he’s got a kind of creepy stalker thing going with the girl with the bright red hair who lives next door. When they were little, they used to be best buds. Now time has passed, puberty has arrived, and Scott’s pretty sure Janis doesn’t even remember him anymore.
He’ll do almost anything to get her attention, including joining the equivalent of a high school fraternity. And that doesn’t really fit Scott, because he’s a geek. This is the 1980s, though, so Scott’s not just any old computer geek. He’s a computer geek in a world in which Tandy is pretty much the coolest PC in the world, and Dungeons & Dragons are the game to play instead of World of Warcraft. Pledging a fraternity for a guy like this is… not a good idea.
Scott also has this weird thing happen to him during his late-night hacking sessions. He sort of… enters into computer networks. It’s almost like he becomes one with the network. How can he explain that to his hacker buddies?
And Janis? She’s not really sure what’s going on with her. She keeps having these freaky out-of-body experiences during her dreams, and she’s pretty sure the old guy in the house behind hers is spying on her beautiful older sister. Not that Janis isn’t also beautiful, but Janis is a soccer chick. She’d rather be in her cleats than in high heels; it’s her sister Margaret who’s the head of the high school “sorority.” The sorority which Margaret is forcing Janis to join, much to Janis’s chagrin.
It’s a Slow Build
XGeneration 1 takes a long time to get going, but I’d recommend being patient. The first book is all about establishing the characters and their story arcs; the later books are fast-paced action / adventure books.
In essence, if the X-Men comic books had been novels, they’d be the XGeneration. Pretty sure the “X” in the title is the author’s homage to X-Men. You might think that would get boring, that the novels’ lack of originality would be a distraction, but author Brad Magnarella doesn’t make it feel that way. The characters are perfect and distinct, so the fact that the storylines are very X-Men-like didn’t bother me. There’s something borderline campy about all four books, but you can feel that it’s intentional and that the books aren’t taking themselves too seriously, so for me that makes it ok.
All-in-all? 5 Stars for all four books! And Brad, be sure to email me when the fifth book comes out! I want to know.
The book is free on Amazon.