by Ryan Guy4 out of 5
The good, the bad, and the Surly.
Q. What do you get when you cross an aardvark, a skunk, and a couple of star-crossed lovers with technology and a series of cataclysmic events?
A. Atomic Aardvark-- An exciting, comedy-action-suspense-with-a-little-bit-of-romance fantasy novel. Guaranteed to be the best one I've ever written. Read it! It's better than this summary. Much longer, too.
It... there's... If anyone can come up with a concise description of this book, please let me know!
It follows how one accident, and the motives of several people, leads to Aardy the worn-out aardvark and a surly skunk both gain super-strength, speed and intelligence. Surly Skunk is immediately offended by the world that he now understands, and he seeks to set it to his design. Aardy must embrace his atomic awesomeness, if he is to save the day.
Ok, first of all, this is not a kid's book. I mean, there's nothing in it that would be unsuitable for children, it's content is perfectly innocent. But it is very readable for adults.
Even though two of the main characters are walking, talking animals; it's done really well.
I found it hard to get into the book at the start, there are a lot of different points of view, and different threads that come together to trigger everything that happens for Surly and Aardy. Which is sorta good, because it gives you more background; but if I'm honest, I found it slowed everything down and made an already-quirky tale more confusing. You jump from Conley, to Marissa, to the owner of Aardvark Pasta, to the driver for Malchem...
But once the story got going, it was really entertaining. There were some really great characters. I loved the interactions between Marissa and Aardy; and Conley getting on with his geek-centered life. There are some absolutely fantastic scenes that make you chuckle away.
I think I could have done without the flashbacks on Marissa and Conley's chatroom relationship. I wasn't overly keen on Marissa reading through the back-history on their chat page as a way to convey how they both felt about the other (I know, we've all done it when we're feeling low, but I'm never a fan of emails or texts etc being plonked directly in the middle of a chapter).