Genre: Fantasy; Adventure; Young Adult
Fifteen-year-old, Bobby McDane goes on a mission to locate the last remaining unicorn. He learns to fly after reading comic books, against his dad’s wishes. His dad says he will never amount to anything because all he does is read comic books. Bobby has a very smart dog friend who talks and helps him learn to fly. Bobby’s mom cleans doctors’ homes and Bobby accompanies her one day on one of her jobs at Doctor Vile’s house. While there, he finds some notes in doctor Vile’s diary saying that he had captured a unicorn named Flora and he was holding her on an island near Madagascar. After reading the notes, Bobby feels that the doctor is evil and needs to be stopped. He becomes determined to find Flora and set her free. It’s up to Bobby to find Flora, set her free, and in turn save the world from the evil doctor.
Scifi thriller author Stanley Straub has brought his unique flair to the fantasy realm! I have read several entertaining science fiction thrillers written by Mr. Straub, but it appears that his creativity spans past that genre as well. Bobby McDane and the Missing Unicorn boasts a never-ending adventure with danger, fun, comedy, and the fight for what’s right.
Bobby is a kind and ambitious teenager whose imaginative nature is unappreciated by his father. Luckily, he has his mother in his corner, supporting him regardless of how strange his ideas may sound. Through her support and his sheer determination, Bobby manages to teach himself how to fly, aiming to become better and stronger every day.
Along the way, he makes friends with Milton who is probably the smartest talking dog you ever met, and a young lady named Sarah who has a spirit just as bright as Bobby’s. After learning of an evil doctor’s experiments and horrid treatment of a unicorn named Flora, the trio sets out to find and free her. They learn more about magic, see the wonders of the world, and even have interesting ‘side quests.’
While there is a lot of stuff happening in this book, what I really appreciated is that not everything had high stakes. For example, our heroes had down time where they simply enjoyed each other’s company or perhaps just wandered around or saw to familial obligations rather than have a grand objective. I felt like these aspects made the characters believable, despite their obviously fantastical aspects. With these parts, it definitely felt like the reader is tagging along for the journey.
Another thing I’d like to comment on is those ‘fantastical’ elements. A human boy learning to fly, traveling quickly to the other side of the world via that flight, a talking dog, kids taking on cannibals… All of those and more highlighted the idea that nothing is impossible, giving the book that feeling of wonder young people have before the cynicism of age sets in. And that, of course, is paramount to a YA Fantasy story.
Want your book reviewed? Click here for more information.
~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden
Follow this blog by entering your email at the bottom of this page to get updates on book reviews, free books, and giveaways!