Minion by John David Anderson

Superheroes have sidekicks, and super-villains have minions. But what happens when a minion meets a sidekick and they both go up against a super-super villain?

Something like that anyway. If you like the style of a hard-boiled detective novel or a comic book novelization, lots of short sentences and sentence fragments, wise guys spouting off with trite aphorisms and odd metaphors spilling all over the place, you’ll enjoy Minion as well as its companion novel Sidekicked. For example:

“There are those moments in your life, you know, when the last screw is tightened and the green light flashes and you realize that your whole worldview is a loose thread dangling from the blanket you’ve wrapped so tight around you. And somebody’s gotten ahold of that one thread and is starting to pull. And most of you wants to tug back. To stay warm. To stay safe. To keep things as they are.”

“I get that same strange feeling that I got the last time we sat together. That feeling of rightness. Not rightness opposite of wrongness. Rightness like putting on a favorite pair of jeans. Maybe Dad’s right. Maybe normal’s not so bad.”

Michael Morn is a minion: he robs banks and helps his dad make black boxes full of technology for the mob. But Michael isn’t really a bad guy. He just finds it difficult to distinguish between “what’s right and what’s best and why there even has to be a difference.”

He’s not alone in his confusion. All of the characters in the book seem to be somewhat morally ambiguous. The police are inept at best and in the pay of the bad guys at the worst. The superhero who comes to town, The Comet, doesn’t want to show his face and fails to acknowledge the help of his sidekick. Michael’s dad is a criminal and a thief, but he sacrifices safety and money for his son on several occasions. Michael himself can’t decide whether he’s a “good guy” or a “bad guy”, and by the end of the book he’s still undecided.

If you can deal with the ambiguity and the comic book writing style, Minion is a good read. It’s upper middle grade, maybe even young adult, with some middle school romance and a few crude words (not many). Plus the aforesaid moral ambiguity.

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This book is also nominated for a Cybil Award, but the views expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect or determine the judging panel’s opinions.

Writen by Sherry

I'm a Christian, the homeschooling mom of eight (yes, all mine) children, married to a NASA engineer, and a confirmed bookaholic. I like old books, conservative politics, and new and interesting ideas. My hair is grey, my favorite clothes are red, and I love purple. Come on in and enjoy the blog. Be sure to tell me what you think before you leave.

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