Saturday 26 October 2013

The Bully Chip

The Bully Chip by Glenn Wood (Walker Books)
PB RRP $ 16.95
ISBN 9781921977640
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

It’s been a year since the evil mastermind Lester Smythe was defeated by Callum, Sophie and Jinx in the highly imaginative, The Brain Sucker. But defeated doesn’t mean eradicated.

Strange and suspicious is the change in Jinx who is now keeping company with the popular kids, his tight-knit friendship with Sophie and Callum left behind. He believes he’s recovered from being unlucky and to him that translates to moving on.

The two new students, Lucy and Cain, are bullies. They exude hostility and danger with Lucy intimidating Sophie right at the start, and Cain on the attack against Callum.

The bullying continues and escalates in action, threat and sabotage. No one believes Callum’s claims, even when he’s injured after Cain causes several accidents while he is in his Thunderkit wheelchair.

Being set up then blamed for the fire in the chemistry lab is the last straw for Callum. The ingenious Sophie is determined to uncover the why and how behind the cruelty. Jinx realizes that his adopted friends have been manipulating him for their own entertainment and returns to his real mates.

Events take an exciting and revealing turn when they discover that Lucy has been implanted with a bully chip. The Sethal Stymer School, from where Lucy and Cain transferred, is perpetuating evil and cruelty and that equates to only one person.

There is another terrific shift in the pace as a crescendo of action, danger, excitement and ingenuity propels the story towards its climax. Lots of things happen in fast sequences and nail-biting intensity. This book is far better than its prequel and again, lots of interesting characters, both leading and minor, that call attention to their importance in the structure of the story.

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