The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp by Rick Yancey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Here's the thing with this book: If you cannot suspend your disbelief, then do not attempt to read this book. If you can, and you want to have lots of fun, enjoy a book full of adventure, with a deeper message, and you enjoy action/adventure, then dive in!
This was a fun book. It had a bit of a slow start, but then, watch out. I absolutely loved Alfred. He is considered a screw up--not good at anything. He's big and awkward, blocky big. Think linebacker. But this young man...he saves the world, and discovers a secret destiny.
And to think, when he bargains with this uncle (his only living relative) that he'll try out for football if he is able to get his learner's permit, Alfred has no idea that he will be driving Porshes, Lambourghinis, Bentleys, and Mercedes across the country and England, at 90-120 miles an hour. He has no clue that he'll go from being a 'loser' to fighting off evil henchmen with The Sword of all Swords--Excalibur.
Alfred's adventures are not all good. He sees lots of people die--deaths that can in part be laid at his feet for a monumental decision he makes to help his uncle steal a sword from his boss. When he becomes the sidekick to the last knight of an order sworn to keep Excalibur out of the hands of evil men, he does it out of guilt and because he has nothing left. But Alfred is taking the step toward his fate.
This was a very good book. As a fan of action/adventure, I had a ball reading it. It's pretty violent, so I'd probably read it first if you are a parent of a kid under twelve (although I read worse when I was that age). I think tween kids and younger teens (as well as some older teens who like a fun read) would love it (although I had some moments where I felt the POV seemed a little mature for the average 15 year old--but I could be wrong). I also think grown-ups who love adventure/quest novels and movies would eat this up. If you are a fan of these kinds of stories, what are you waiting for? If you like King Arthur, you need to read this book. Mr. Yancey managed to write a story that is chock full of adventure, but also with a message about realizing what your purpose is in life. I really felt for poor Alfred. He had been through a lot, and he had the weight of the world on his young but large shoulders. He showed a lot of courage, strength, heart, and intelligence, although he was his own worst critic. But, in the end, Alfred showed that he was in the right place at the right time. This is my first book by Rick Yancey, but it won't be my list. I'm excited to read more of Alfred's adventures. He proved to me that he's a hero who is up to the challenge of saving the world, and I enjoyed watching him do it. Highly recommended!
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