Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra by Karen Tyrrell (Digital Future Press) PB RRP $14.95 ISBN 978-0-994-30213-7
Reviewed by Elizabeth Vercoe
The second book in the Super Space Kids series sees reluctant hero and erstwhile Super Space Kid Josh (aka Jo-Kin), called upon to step up and save not only his Commander’s younger sister and other Super Space Kids, but the whole of planet Earth. It’s a bit of a bummer though because it’s only recently that Josh has FINALLY been seen as a cool kid at school, and he doesn’t want to leave for outer space. The timing’s pretty terrible for a face-off with the evil Lord Terra and his stinking sidekick, Prince Poison…
This inter-galactic romp has everything: tough choices, talking cars that fly, heroic boys and girls, kidnapping, battles with formidable foes and dissention among internal ranks. There’s action-a-pace, annoying siblings, dodgy friends, heart-stopping adolescent moments of infatuation and, of course, planets made entirely of food.
Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra contains a smattering of many issues that will be familiar to its 7-12 year old readership, touching on ideas of doing the right thing, standing your ground, teamwork, friendship, problem solving and resilience. There’s a lovely light, humorous touch throughout and although one or two rogue words have escaped the editorial process, overall it’s a happening and pacy read (although I have to personally admit finding it hard to get into – middle-aged woman that I am!). With enough computer game terminology to engage both boys and girls, it’s also appropriate for reluctant readers.