I first read a book by Paul McAvoy back at the start of 2013. I was given a copy of another one of his books (So... I met a ghost) and really enjoyed it. Back in the summer, I was then asked by Paul again if I would read another one of his books in exchange for a review. Unfortunately it has taken me till now to get time to read it, but I am now ready to offer my opinion of this short novel.
This falls into the category of young adult fiction. I have to admit to being a little put off at first by the similarity in title to the first novel I read. When I got round to starting the novel, I did notice there were a few similarities in style to the first novel. Both feature a young boy at secondary school as the main character. Both boys live in broken families and have an older sister. In this case, the boy has a deceased mother rather than a divorced one, so there is a different type of emotional angst that is only touched upon in this story.
Danny is a boy who has recently left London with his father and sister to live in a smaller town. He feels he doesn't fit in, and he is being hassled by two bullies. One day he decides to skive school, heading off to the local reservoir. Seeing someone in trouble in the water, he doesn't think twice about rescuing them. It's only when back on dry land he discovers this 'person' is in fact an alien. What follows is the events of one day as Danny trys to save alien Spiro Casserole from a government agency who are wanting to capture him.
Firstly, this book is a pretty quick and short read at only 116 pages long in Kindle edition. The story is very readable, and one of the things that irritated me a little reading the first book in the series was spotting typos in the novel, and this is something that has been worked on here as I didn't spot even one. The characters were likeable, but perhaps a bit underdeveloped with it being a short novel. It felt that there was a bit more there under the surface waiting to be explained.
I enjoyed So... I met a Ghost because I felt that the story was quite unique and had interesting twists to it that I could not see coming. Here, the story felt a bit clichéd in places and it affected how much I engaged with the story.
This is something I feel a younger reader would engage with a lot more than an adult reader. I would be perfectly happy for my son to read it in a couple of years as it was amusing and had nothing inappropriate for a younger reader. It just didn't have enough to excite me as an older reader.