The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp
by Rick Yancey
Source: Unintentionally ordered through Indigo.ca
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure
About the book:
This is the first book in a Teen/Young Adult trilogy by author Rick Yancey (of The 5th Wave fame). I have read The 5th Wave, but admittedly have not yet finished that trilogy. I must also admit that I had certain expectations from this book, which were not exactly met.
This book features parts of Arthurian mythology, it's got some pretty intense high-speed chase and fight scenes, a bit of that "chosen one"
Alfred Kropp is a nobody. He's just a normal, albeit large, kid with average grades, with an absentee father, a dead mother, living with his uncle. Soon enough, Alfred's uncle gets them both into quite a bit of trouble, resulting in a theft and several deaths (including that of Alfred's uncle). Alfred spends most of the rest of the book feeling guilty for what happened, trying to fix what he thinks was his fault, and continuing to think that he isn't special (when, of course, he is).
There is a special place in my heart for medieval stories and the legends surrounding King Arthur and their retellings, so I was pretty into the synopsis of this book. The cover didn't grab me (just being honest), but the fact that it features the Sword Excalibur, and is written by the author of The 5th Wave, that was enough for me.
I mentioned that I unintentionally bought this book online... I try to give my nephews a book & something else for Christmas/birthdays, and my older nephew's birthday is January 1st, so I was on the lookout for two books for a teenage boy who likes sports, videogames, and fast cars. Well, Ready Player One was suggested to me and seemed a no-brainer. Two other series that were recommended to me were this one, Alfred Kropp, and the Alex Rider series. I couldn't decide which to buy, so I had all three books in my cart for the longest time. Then I thought I had decided on Alex Rider, and made my order, but when the box came, there were all three books. Whoops. So then, of course, I had a little dilemma over which books to actually give him (because I really wanted to read Ready Player One myself).... Long story, but I gave him the other two because they seemed like they would be more his style, and I kept this one.
So, all that to say that I did not intentionally buy this book for myself, but I decided to keep it because I'm a good auntie. And I decided to read it right off the bat in January, because, I don't know why... I just wanted to see if it was any good, I guess.
I gave the book 3.5 stars because it was ok, but there was just something about it that I didn't love. I didn't particularly like the dialogue, and Alfred's character... He was self-deprecating, which isn't exactly uncommon in young adult fiction, but he was kind of clueless and simple-minded. I suppose one could see that as being refreshing (as compared to the typical main characters in the young adult genre who are "wise beyond their years"), but it just fell kind of flat for me, especially when he turns out to be a sort of "chosen one." I might, someday, want to know what Alfred gets up to in the next books, but I definitely won't be going out of my way to acquire them.
My Goodreads rating:
I actually gave this book 3.5 stars, but as there are no half-star options on Goodreads, I rounded up.