May 26, 2017

  • "Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have A Nemesis" is very good

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I give it four stars out of five.

    When we last left Penelope Akks at the end of Please Don't Tell My Parents I've Got Henchmen, she has established to her parents that she has full control of her superpowers, and they've decided to begin to train her as a superhero. Now, all she has to do is shed her former identity as Bad Penny in a way which will convince her parents. Meanwhile, Claire and Ray support her fully, but aren't committed to the heroic route, and have their own plans for the summer. After a spate of inventions and a chance meeting with a former villain at the local hospital, Penelope has come up with what she believes to be a foolproof plan. An incredibly convoluted plan that involves body-swapping, cloning, robots, stealing precious metals... well, let's just say that a foolproof plan seldom survives encounters with the enemy.

    The story had a slow start for me. I'd read the first four chapters or so as previews on the author's site, and the subsequent chapters seemed to be retreading old ground with Penelope coming up with amazingly apropos inventions that will trump upcoming opponents through seeming happenstance. But then, through the course of events, she really starts maturing, correcting old mistakes and attempting to plan for the future. She also encounters more significant setbacks that get her to realize that she can't just rely on winging it. By the first third of the book, it had me hooked back in and I couldn't set the book down until I figured out how it ended. And oh, what an ending... the author has stated that there will be only one more book in Penelope's tale and he's definitely set her up to face significant challenges in the final volume.

    Spoilers ahead...

    To run through some of the significant events, I like that Penelope encountered problems she couldn't immediately fix, courtesy of her father, whether it was the water treatment plant,
    or the forest fire. The return of Remmy and Juno was unexpected, but it allowed for a welcome increase in maturity as Penelope begins to realize just how badly she hurt Remmy by stepping in and solving all of the problems. I was not expecting Mammon to make a return, or to be so plot-relevant. Penelope's parents continuing to miss all of the clues (particularly The Audit) continues to be somewhat implausible unless you just count it as self-denial. Then, the ending... clearly Penelope is carrying the Idiot Ball a bit, but the revelation at the end about her frustrated power being behind it makes it make a bit more sense.

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