Amanda Craig's review of Jimmy Coates: Revenge appeared in The Times today. You can read the whole review here.
Here are some of my favourite snippets:
"DESPITE THE SEARCH for the next Anthony Horowitz or J. K. Rowling, children’s publishers often fail to realise when they have struck gold. They pump money into solemn, literary offerings by established authors which no normal child is going to hanker after and leave the rip-roaring read to fend for itself.
"Joe Craig is a case in point. His Jimmy Coates series is about a twelve-year-old boy, who thinks he is normal until he discovers that he is only 38 per cent human.
"Boys love this kind of stuff, and so do girls. Jimmy is a pint-sized version of RoboCop or Terminator, but he loves his Mum and sister, and wants to protect them; with his best friend Felix, they are what helps him to fight his programming and stay true to the flawed, merciful human within.
"These are not literary novels, although they are written by a Cambridge philosophy graduate who clearly enjoys playing with concepts of justice and the essential self. Yet, like Anthony Horowitz’s splendid fantasies, they tap into almost everything a bolshy boy wants and feels. Immensely clever, immediately engaging, they will prepare a child for Orwell and Huxley.
"...pure gold for boys who have read everything by Anthony Horowitz — or have not been able to tackle him yet."
(Apologies to Amanda Craig for my extensive quoting. Check out her site here. And no, we're not related.)