Campion’s Choice, by Geoff Warwick

4_17_17 Campions Choice

4 stars

Meet Jack Campion, your average thirteen-year-old. Except he finds weird coins and elephants in abandoned air-raid shelters. And makes piggy banks explode, and…Jack does a lot more than the usual kid his age.
I like the fact that while Jack’s life takes the obvious weird turn, his focus is clear: make his dad better. After an accident left his dad a walking vegetable, things haven’t been so great for the Campion family. It shows in the way Jack presents himself to other people. His emotions have range, and he uses them to his advantage to stay focused. Even when the aliens come for him. Or people get murdered. And now Jack must channel his inner Nancy Drew to figure out what’s going on.
The author’s style suits this novel. It was weird and choppy, like a kids’ brain. Not once did I experience an information dump. Backstory and minute details get fleshed out through dialogue and worldly encounters. The writing is very solid. It’s descriptive enough without being too much or too little. It’s humorous, without detracting from the importance of the situation.
Each of the characters were three-dimensional as well. Jack, Tia, and Liam all have their own unique personalities important to the story. All supporting characters, such as Jack’s dad, were all distinct. While distinct, yes, character development lacked. The character development for Jack is obvious. Main characters are easiest to coax along. Secondary characters are where the struggle gets real. That’s one area where this novel lacked. Or, in Tia’s case, thrown in as an afterthought. Only a few sentences at the end.
Another thing that bothered me was the age of the characters. Jack and Tia, the two that the narrative focuses on, are thirteen. Boy, do they not sound like it. While they don’t sound like it, their age explains why they up and agree to go along with aliens without much of a problem. Downside is, Tia’s character feels thrown in only to be Jack’s ‘love interest.’ There’s too much there. They’re kids. Boys and girls can be friends without any romantic attraction. Please, stop this trope. It’s so bad. And I don’t see any way it serves the plot.
Armed with a unique plot (something so rare nowadays), the author manages to tie up all the loose ends except for one or two—and they’re the ones you know are going to be the focus of the next few books. I love knowing that I finished a book without a multitude of questions that won’t have any play in the future. Well done.



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