Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Glitch in Sleep

THE SEEMS: THE GLITCH IN SLEEP; John Hulme and Michael Wexler; New York: Bloomsbury,
2007; 277pgs. Fiction.

The first in what one hopes will be a long series, The Glitch in Sleep tells the story of twelve-year-old Becker Drane, the youngest Fixer for The Seems, the conglomerate that keeps the world running smoothly and looks after its inhabitants. Becker (as a Briefer) shines in a mission to save southern Europe from drought when he discovers and foils a plot by The Tide to clog up the Water Tower of the World's Precious Rain. His first job as a Fixer, however, is a ripsnorter: a glitch in sleep which is keeping the whole world awake. Hulme and Wexler's book is chock full of puns, wordplay, goofy gadgetry, and laugh-out-loud action. Oddly enough, it also has a religious subtext: each person in the World has a Case Worker assigned to look after him or her; the heart of The Plan is that things will turn out all right; the Rising Tide is a subversive group that wants to remake the world so that everything is perfect and no one will have any problems. Becker himself is a great kid, who looks after his little brother, doesn't take himself too seriously, loves his parents and leaves his ME-2 blowup self behind when he has to go on a mission so his parents won't worry. The Glitch in Sleep gets a little over the top as it draws to a close, and there are some loose ends that hopefully will make sense in The Seems next outing, but on the whole, this book is a delight, fun and tenderhearted.

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