Marvel Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Shopping Mall by Tom Angleberger
|Marvel Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Shopping Mall by Tom Angleberger|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: In a book that will annoy the purists, it's good to see the wacky and inventive world of these characters in something approaching a prose long-form piece.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: March 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
I am Groot. I know what you're saying there, it is good to see the japery of our favourite small woodland creature and tree-man-thing in book form, even if here it is a particularly unusual form. Everything here is unusual, on Planet Shopping Mall, where our heroes have arrived – and not by choice. Take the first place they go to, a dry-cleaners, so that Rocket can clean his clothes of space piranha blood – the toilet in back just tries to eat him. The sickly-sweet sweet shop is manned by angry robot tooth fairies, with a battle mode, and they too have the consumption of peculiar life-forms in mind. Can the stranded duo battle every evil thing around, and survive to find a way off-world? And can they cope with being forced to enter partnership with a purple tape dispenser?
So, to address the unusual form of the book. This is supposed to be Rocket's Captain's Log, but he has nothing to write it down on, therefore the whole thing is presented as an audio file being recorded by Veronica, said tape dispenser. We get her dialogue in one purple font, Rocket's talking in a different font, of varying size and levels of boldness, and Groot – well, you can imagine what he says, for I quoted him above. And yes, you are expected at least to know that Groot only ever says three words, for this is not a particularly newbie-friendly volume.
It does, however, fit in to the Guardians of the Galaxy spirit very well. The whole scenario is silly, the manner of destruction is wacky and the level of destruction is high (there's a running joke concerning how many Captain's Logs start with the heroes in the rubble of something). And a lot of the comedy comes from us only hearing the familiar speech of Groot but everyone else being able to translate its inflection into whatever he actually meant.
As a result of the inventive presentation, with no narrative voice other than the tape machine's description of the audio she's recording, and the at-times quite horrid scribbly pictures (justified by them being etch-a-sketched on to Veronica's screen in the height of battle) this book also shares with the Guardians manner of being sniffily looked upon by people who would prefer something more edifying and/or conventional. This book – and the series it'll become but a part of – looks like following the author's past form of irreverence and messy fun, and in entering what is quite a scatterbrained universe here he looks like he's found the right material for his style. This at times would appear to have no nice aesthetic style whatsoever, and the different fonts and lack of narrator will make this very awkward for certain types of reluctant reader, but it is a jolly little adventure, and for those who like this silliness, the fact there are more books already out there will only be a welcome thing.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett: An Origami Yoda Book is an instance of when our author was looking at a slightly different franchise.
You can read more book reviews or buy Marvel Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Shopping Mall by Tom Angleberger at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Marvel Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Shopping Mall by Tom Angleberger at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.