By Jeff Thomason
Power Trip is a novel featuring the Wondering Koala, a mute superhero who always manages to stand up for those who need help. This time we are in "Firebird City", home to 8 million people and one power company. After six months of job hunting following college René thinks he's finally hit the jackpot when he finds the perfect job with excellent benefits at The Power Company.
Things are not quite as the seem however, employees seem to disappear without warning and when a massive explosion leaves the city without power at the height of a record breaking heat wave, René finds himself framed for sabotage amidst a city plunged into chaos.
As a Young Adult novel, Power Trip works very well indeed, a simple and uncluttered dialogue means that the book can be read pretty fast while the many different messages are kept on the surface. There is a real tongue-in-cheek style that manages to poke fun at the business sector and large companies in general without appearing rude or derogatory and there are some really positive messages about monopoly, greed, corruption and profiteering that manages to hit the nail on the head.
A few of these points do however seem to be a little over-done in my opinion though coming through a bit too strong in places and occasionally border on the preachy side, these points are however few and far between. I thought the character of René was well played as a young adult ready to tread the road of his first career, a bit naive and far too trusting however I've been there myself and I do know that some employers do take advantage of this lack of real world experience. While clearly over the top the situations he is placed in do contain enough truth to be a warning for those starting out.
The character of the Wondering Koala manages to steal the show again, a well crafted and entertaining character that always manages to do the right thing and be in the right place at the right time.
On the whole I did enjoy Power Trip and I feel that Young Adults will probably like it much more that us older people, a nice short and sweet story with plenty of powerful messages.
Written on 19th December 2011 by Ant .