Title: Atomic Aardvark
My Review:Ryan Guy, author of Atomic Aardvark, is a familiar name among the community of young-adult indie authors. Via his website, atomicaardvark.com, he features YA authors and even gives out copies of the books he features. Additionally, he is also a co-moderator in the Author Promo Co-op group, where he chooses the YA Book of the Month.
I read Atomic Aardvark after hearing from several friends that it was hilariously funny. I wasn’t disappointed. Marissa Mallory (‘Sirena’) has taken a job as a waitress at Aardvark Pasta to gain independence from her father, a junk food tycoon. The restaurant’s mascot is an aardvark named Aardy, to whom Marissa has become attached. She is also chatting with Conley (‘Ennui’) via social gaming and the two have plans to meet in person. A series of comical events prevent this meeting, the main one being a meteor that has landed in the Precipice, a giant drop-off that Marissa’s father uses as a dump site. Long story short, the combination of something within the meteor and the toxic waste give Aardy and an ordinary skunk later named Surly supernatural abilities, including the ability to communicate with humans. When Surly comes up with an absurd plan to kidnap Marissa, it is up to Conley and Aardy to rescue her.
The entire book is a bizarre and humorous comedy of errors. The randomness of it is the best part. Although it is intended as a comedy, Guy does address some more serious issues (albeit in a comical manner) such as environmentalism, corporate responsibility, identity theft, and over-dependence on technology. This is a highly recommended and enjoyable read for all ages.