I Am the Walrus

Little, Brown. (The N.O.A.H. Files). Apr. 2023. 400p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780759555242.
Gr 6 Up–The first book in this new series is too scattered to make its mark as a sci-fi adventure tale. Fourteen-year-old protagonist Noah Prime is outrageously athletic, but since his favorite sports keep getting canceled out of the blue, he rarely gets a chance to show off his talents. After a monkey-like display at a gymnastics tournament and spontaneously developing walrus blubber while trapped in a freezer, Noah discovers that his athletic aptitude is, in fact, superhuman: he can morph into any animal in the world to use its traits to his advantage. The book starts out quirky and witty as Noah and his friends test these abilities. Things start to go off the rails when Noah’s house is attacked by aliens, who kidnap his parents and make him the target of an intergalactic manhunt. The plot begins to lose focus, splitting off into multiple, uninteresting perspectives that distract from what seems to be the book’s main quest—Noah finding his parents and discovering the reason for his supernatural abilities. When the plots finally intersect, the conclusion is unsatisfying. A potential red flag for school collections—it’s implied that a teacher is drinking alcohol while chaperoning a dance.
VERDICT From time travel to aliens to shapeshifting to an apocalypse, this work proves there may be such a thing as too much science fiction in one book.

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