Books Magazine

M.G. King: the New Voice of Young Adult Fantasy

By Akklemm @AnakaliaKlemm

MGKingTitle: Fizz & Peppers

Author: M.G. King

Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Adventure

“Sometimes great ideas are so genius and unlikely they fall from the heavens; but sometimes the best ones are simple, waiting to be found already in the palm of your hand.”

I don’t know if this idea fell from the heavens or was found in the palm of King’s hands, but Fizz & Peppers is utter genius.  It’s quite possible we have the next J.K. Rowling on our hands, folks.

Meet Colin Colbeck and a girl named Pepper, arch enemies and ex-best friends.  Also, meet Colin’s kid brother Sid… by the way, he has trolls living under his bed.  There’s also a nutty but endearing grandmother to rescue, an entire world under suburbia and the nearby wood, thrums, hot peppers, and a game called knattlebones.

This book, written by a mom for and with her own middle-grade sons, is about two boys who are full of some of the most “brilliantly, beautiful idea[s] ever to be thought of in the history of the world” as they fight off trolls to rescue their kidnapped, sometimes senile grandmother from the bottom of the world.

What an imagination this family has! The family responsible for writing the book that is…  After reading King’s dedication at the front of the book to her “what if?” family, immediately I wanted to be a fly on the wall at their house as they speculate the nature of the world.  What minds!  To come up with the idea that a little bit of fizz from a soda pop would wake up a sleeping troll from a stone-like state and send them romping the underground, free to steal from (and eat!) Peoplekins and wreak havoc on everything.

Not every author can make such a smooth transition between genres – picture book to young adult is a couple hundred page leap – but King has done an excellent job.  Fizz & Peppers is just as wonderful as Librarian on the Roof, and I am excited to have an author to share with my daughter for her whole life, not just her babyhood.

The only draw back is that Fizz & Peppers is currently only available on e-book, and I am very old fashioned when it comes to books… I like them in my hands, I like to sniff their pages, I like the risk of a paper cut.  Lucky me, King printed me a copy in a binder! (Yes, I am bragging to cyberspace, I have this book in a binder! And I feel special.)

Reminiscent of The Labyrinth (come on you ’80′s kids, I know you were fascinated with Jareth the Goblin King as much as I was) and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Fizz & Peppers will captivate you and keep you wide-eyed from the first hint of a troll until the very last drop of ginger ale.  It’s a fantastic adventure for all ages that I believe will stand the test of time.

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