“ Genre: Fiction / Author: Trevor Hoyle / Paperback / 320 pages / Book published 1987-01-15 by Sphere „
Written in the late eighties by the author of The Last Gasp (amongst one of my favourite novels of all time), K.I.D.S attempts valiantly to be a truly classic sci-fi novel but fails miserably at each and every hurdle!
Danny is involved in an accident that leaves her needing an extensive series of blood transfusions. Upon her return home, her brother Tom soon realises something is different; Danny is now more quiet, more withdrawn and has developed a sudden increase in her mental capacity! Soon she is asking questions that eleven year olds surely shouldn't be capable of...and she is not the only one!
All across America, young children suddenly begin experiencing increases in their brain power, many of them turning psychotic and inflicting actions of sudden rage before they disappear from sight! When Danny too vanishes from hospital, after experiencing an attack of seizures, Tom begins to worry that maybe his sister's transfusion may well have been contaminated! But stonewalled at every turn, he soon realises that this is just the start of their problems...
From the start, the book does not feel very paticulary well written. It reads a bit like a B-movie and has echoes of John Saul with its themes of sudden violence in children. Anyone who has read the sci-fi novels Arcade or Little Brother (also published in the eighties) will experience a sense of familiarity but this is no match for either of those thrillers! The plot rapidly feels tired, the characters uninspirational and the final twist comes more like a final nail in the coffin than as a shock conclusion. In fact, by the book's final chapter, I no longer really cared what happened!!
Because The Last Gasp was such an enjoyable piece of writing, you would be forgiven for thinking that this would be likewise impressive. In fact it is not and is one to avoid even if you should be able to track down a copy as this is long out of print. I got my copy from Bookmooch but I have also seen a couple of copies on Ebay for sale.
Personally I wish I had saved my Bookmooch points for something more worthy but at least I can rest in the fact that I didn't part with any hard cash!