Saturday 9 April 2022

We Run Tomorrow

We Run Tomorrow by Nat Amoore with art by Mike Barry PB RRP $16.99 ISBN 9781760897697

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

This adventure novel by a best-selling Australian children’s author starts with dramatic and compelling black and white pages of graphic artwork. The panels show that the book’s setting is 2070 and that a syndicate of adults, fearing the growing power of youth, have created a power overload that detonates all devices. However, four kids in a small-town clubhouse, instead of losing their technology, become their technology and have superpowers. They are known as Screen Savers, individually named Wiki, Filter, Skydrop, and Hispeed: their mission is to tackle a vicious villain – Virus – which attacks them!

It is at this point the book starts with Chapter One. It reads: ‘My face is pressed into the ground., The dirt tastes like blood. Or maybe my blood tastes like dirt. I spit it out.’ Now there are new names of characters – the boy with his face in the dirt is Sticks, the book’s narrator. Then there is Bryce, Jed, Maki, and Tommy, known as the Lockett Squad, as they all live in Lockett Street. (Maki is Japanese so there are quite a few Japanese words and phrases in the book.)

The Lockett Squad create comic book movies (they have 7,000 subscribers) so while the main narrative is in first person, occasionally the text is interspersed with sections written in third person, as well as artwork which is always headed ‘Screen Savers.’

When the four friends discover their favourite comic book series is being made into a blockbuster movie, they know they must get to the auditions, get parts, and stay together. We Run Tomorrow combines a gripping story about the runaway boys with the graphic novel adventures of their superhero counterparts. For an adult who is not truly conversant with computers, the book is sometimes perplexing, but young computer-savvy readers – aged 10 years and over – are bound to enjoy this fast-paced, exciting novel.

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