Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation
Also called ‘The Accidental Hero’ by Matt Myklusch
Ok, so lets get to the point right now, There are literally no words on how amazing this novel for kids is, like every word Myklusch writes just takes the words right out of my mouth on how amazing this novel is I literally just cannot even begin to put a review together. Matt Myklusch puts lo0ts of love, thought, imagination and overall depth into this little island that coincides with our world, I just dont even have any words on how incredible this story is, from beginning to end, I got a more childish personality, so I read a LOT of middle grade, but yet few few leave this impact on me like Myklusch had on me. I was hooked with the very first word….but I digress, I need to get into the synopsis on this novel..
Before integrate the sectors I want to talk about the overall plot of the story, the story centers around Jack, a boy who’s had no family, he doesn’t even have a last name. so he is forced to live in an ironic orphanage called St Barnaby’s home for the homeless, abandon, forgotten and lost….I still think thats kind of a chelcie name but direct. So one day, Jack discovers a robot trying to kill him…and from there it all goes downhill.
So beyond that, its spoils galore, so if you dont want to be spoiled and I highly suggest you read the book, please do NOT tread ahead. and for those who read this…I just hope I can give the this incredible novel justice with my words. So, lets dive in, shall we?
The boy and his story
Where do I even begin, so we meet Jack at St. Barnaby’s where he’s tortured and picked on by the teachers, even when he did nothing wrong. Just when things don’t look and more terrible for our hero, Jack is clean up after the school bully and that’s when he find one of them, a soldier sent to kill Jack, a Rüstov. Of course we get the attack and in defence, Jack makes the generator on the building explode, did I forget to mention this orphanage is located on a swamp that just keeps swallowing the building in muck? in New Jersey? So after getting called to the office by the principal or headmaster whatever really, hes just as much as a jerk as the others, and scolds Jack…until Officer Jason Knight appears, I’m like, ok where is this going? He gets Jack out and reveals that his name was instead Jazen Knight, an embassy member for his nation, the Imagine Nation, home to super heroes,villains, ninjas and all sorts of powers. Ok so when I get to the part where we meet blue, the fuzzy ginat, I just wanted to laugh, he was described a bit ridiculously but was still fun to enjoy. So I’m going through this thought that what if something bad happens? Well…I was right, we get to the Imagine Nation with is a single city divided into five parts and I’m like, this is going to be fun,…only its not, Jack is suspected of carrying a virus that will threaten the safety of the entire city, Empire City. Then We meet Jonas Smart. Matt Myklusch must have had someone he really hated because everytime he spoke, I wanted to break a bone in his body. Seriously that dude was one of the biggest douche bags since Severus Snape…but without the redeeming qualities. From there? Jack gets accused and annoyed with different types of people, including his future friend, Allegra and his future enemy, Skerren. Long story shot we get these three rascals together, Allegras a coward, Skerren hates Jack, and Jack does not fit in to the group. However its not too bad…yet
Skerren starts acting like a douche and….then we meet the inner circle, consisting of Stendeval, Jonas Smart, Virtua, Prime , Chi and Hovarth…and if I had to rank them it would be as so:
Now what I disliked here was the characters themselves, while I loved Stendeval and enjoyed Prime…these people (again besides Stendeval) are not fit to govern a nation as exotic as this, they were so cruel to each other, Jack and anyone they didn’t care about. I found that SOOOO hard to get over as they continued to prove me right. but overall I really thought that had some problems, but hey, not EVERYTHING in a good book is perfect. So I digress. Next after Jack is allowed to join his potential friends for applying for the school of thought, Empire City’s education center for everyone in the border of the Imagine Nation. I just loved the process that went though as I saw what Jack saw, each circle member comes up with a test for anyone wanting to enter the school. and of course Jonas isn’t having it. So after a while, the trio start to get along…sort of, What I did enjoy was the growth amongst the trio that got me, Skerren even referred to Jack as ‘brother’, and at first I hated him. Allegra learns to be solid and not liquid as her powers revolve around galactic transformation. OF course circleman Prime leaves them in the middle of nowhere, where of course, the Rüstov attack and Jack has to do everything he can from getting killed or losing any new friend. After that they get recognition for their hard work. Now when it comes to Jazen finding out about Smart Motives, I was like, lets kick his butt, but when we get to SmartTower much later on…we realize that all of Jack’s work was for nothing because The Rüstov were using Jazen as a device in order to capture Jack. I’m on the floor with rage as we progress, I’m just getting ready to kill Jonas when we get Revile, the evil man who nearly destroyed their world…I’m just holding my breath as we go along, Now from here I feel things go all matrix like, we come to a part where come to the realization that Jack is looking a a possible future of himself, of what he can be, but hes wanting more. So I just see this entire moment as a I won’t be you kind of moment, you know that its there and from that point we follow our hero who now know what he could be, or could not be. This story really gave me something to think about, that the line between hero and villain might not be as black and white as we think.
End sector 1
What does it mean?
Well, Jack has to face several challenges, before and after he comes to the Imagine Nation. I feel this motive where Jack is only wanting to be himself, discover his family and just wants to be happy with himself. I felt every single moment of Jack’s struggles as he went from people bullying him to people accusing him of being a Rüstov spy I understand what he went through, which makes me like him even more. I see here that Myklusch put so much effort into making this world and it really shows, we see what he sees, and I for one would love to like in the Imagine Nation if I could. If I had to choose, I’d live in either Cognito or Glaxis I loved every part of Empire City but those two took the cake for me. The characters, oh the characters, I loved Jack, Jazen, Blue Allegra, they were some of my favorites! But if I could have killed any of them off…it would be Jonas, Hovarth I could forgive, Skerren comes around…twice, but Jonas, there is nothing redeemable about him, he’s just an egotistical douche. There, I said it, people be warned!
So seriously, I really get the world building, Matt uses so many comic books and magical place for his influence, I can see that, what’s unique is, what if all the superheroes and villain of the world had a home of their own, what would it look like, Myklusch takes those questions to a whole new level of amazement with his answers. I just love the ideal of his world and theology that comes with it, everything just works for me as a reader. This novel is such a nice change from all the Young Adult trash that been flooding our industry lately, no judgement, but I just think that if more writers like Myklusch had a much bigger audience, than we would have much better writer than before, like Stephen King and JK Rowling worthy, and this author is way up there.
To conclude what I think, Jack Blank is one of those heroes who has an iron will, he won’t rest until he’s solved the problem at hand, while everyone thinks what they want, I see Jack as a true hero. Not to mention all the power struggles and diplomatic compromises that no twelve year old would normally make, Jack is, again, a real hero.
End of Sector 2.
Ok so after all this, I still can’t even put my words into perspective at all. Jack Blank is such an amazing story that I feel my words are not enough to show my appreciation for it. I’m a writer for middle grade readers and I heavily rely on good writers like Myklusch for depth and emotion and just plain creativity. What can I say, pick up this book, rather its my copy with the original cover, or the new cover, either way it contains the same story, one of courage and amazement, perfect for a kids bedtime story, this is one, like Harry Potter, that I would read to my own kids.
On the Puzzle Network scale I rank this book a good old 100% its that great!
Well with that said on to review the next one! Have a great night everyone and I’ll be back soon!