Alfred Kropp was just trying to survive high school when his guardian uncle gets him roped into a suspicious get-rich-quick scheme that changes his life forever: stealing Excalibur, the legendary sword of King Arthur. But after Alfred unwittingly delivers the sword into the hands of a man with enormously evil intentions, he sets off on an unlikely quest to try to right his wrong and save the world from imminent destruction. This gripping, fast-paced, hilarious novel is both a thrilling adventure story and an engaging account of one boy’s coming of age.
I fell in love with Rick Yancey when I read The 5th Wave. I loved the alien twist in it and I loved Cassie. So when one of my students told me about The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, I immediately bought it on Amazon. I tried finding it at Barnes & Noble (in store) first but they didn’t have any of the Alfred Kropp books. I perused Yancey’s Facebook page as well wanting to know more about the book and saw him advertising it that day. Apparently Alfred Kropp was his first young adult series, it was just never as hyped up as The 5th Wave. And after reading it I understand why.
I didn’t hate the book I just thought it was okay. I think it’s geared mostly to middle grade-teen boys. I found Alfred hard to relate too. In the beginning of the book he seems so simple. There’s not a lot of depth to him. Granted, his entire world is crashing around him when his mother dies, he stands out in a crowd because he’s bigger than everyone, then his Uncle is kind of a loser and isn’t that nice to him, etc…
I didn’t get invested in the story until Bennacio came along. He was one of the only characters I enjoyed in this book. I liked Alfred more by the end, it seemed as if Yancey wanted to show how he grew into a man by the end of it. He didn’t seem like the big, doofy 15 year old he was in the beginning. I think most of his growing up was because he needed a fatherly figure around (Bennacio) to guide him and show him his place in the world.
One things I absolutely loved in this book was all of the tying in with King Arthur and Excalibur. I wish there had been some flashbacks in this book, between Alfred and Bennacio and Arthur and his knights back in the day. I think that would have added the depth the book was needing. And maybe some flashbacks of Mogart’s relative. It felt like a half-baked plot. It had so much potential but was lacking in some areas.
I gave this novel 3/5 stars. I’m not sure if I will read the next books. I’ll wait awhile and see if I run into the physical copies at Half Price Books or something.
I’ve been reading quite a bit the past few days because I’m recovering from an ER visit this weekend. I went in with terrible side pains and found out I had kidney stones. It was the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced in my life. They triple dosed me with morphine and it did nothing. I just puked and itched the rest of the day after I passed the first stone. And my CT scan says I have one more. Yikes!
So while recuperating this weekend I also finished reading Ms. Marvel the comic book. Review coming soon!