Monday, August 29, 2016

Waypoint Kangaroo


4.5 Stars

Kangaroo isn’t your typical spy. Sure, he has extensive agency training, access to bleeding-edge technology, and a ready supply of clever (to him) quips and retorts. But what sets him apart is “the pocket”. It’s a portal that opens into an empty, seemingly infinite, parallel universe, and Kangaroo is the only person in the world who can use it. But he's pretty sure the agency only keeps him around to exploit his superpower.

After he bungles yet another mission, Kangaroo gets sent away on a mandatory “vacation”: an interplanetary cruise to Mars. While he tries to make the most of his exile, two passengers are found dead, and Kangaroo has to risk blowing his cover. It turns out he isn’t the only spy on the ship–and he’s just starting to unravel a massive conspiracy which threatens the entire Solar System.

Now, Kangaroo has to stop a disaster which would shatter the delicate peace that’s existed between Earth and Mars ever since the brutal Martian Independence War. A new interplanetary conflict would be devastating for both sides. Millions of lives are at stake.

Weren’t vacations supposed to be relaxing?


I picked up Waypoint Kangaroo on a whim. I saw a tweet about it, thought hey, I'll check this out, read a couple reviews, and then had to have it. The title alone is quirky and that off-the-wall humor extends throughout the book.

Kangaroo is a spy... but he's not on a mission, he's on vacation, (Forced vacation, but still a vacation) and he has no idea what to do with his time. He's suspicious of everyone, and as it turns out, he has a right to be. He may be a top secret government spy, but this is not your typical spy book. Theres no target, no mission, he has no backup, no plan, no equipment... and he has no idea what he's doing. It's kind of a Mr. Magoo mystery/thriller, if Mr. Magoo were set in space and made really lame jokes that only he and the reader enjoyed.

Kangaroo isn't a complete, bumbling idiot, he (and his pocket) are very useful, but he can't help feeling like he's not good enough. In other words: Kangaroo is a normal freaking human being! A very relatable personality with worries and doubts and just trying to be the best he can be. And really that makes him (sorry Chen...) really freaking adorable.

He was just a kid when he signed up for all this! Orphaned, alone, always doing his best to not let the people who brought him in off the streets down. He doesn't know who he is without the agency and now, on his forced 'vacation', for the first time he'll have time to take a good look at himself and how important he truly is.

And did I mention he's adorable?

I absolutely hate romance in books... It's never realistic, or at least I sure haven't ever experienced the over the top romantic shit dished out in novels and weirdly romantic entanglements shown on tv that take one short week to know that person is 'the one'.... Anyway... Yes, there's a bit of romance in Waypoint Kangaroo, but what makes me not hate this romantic encounter is that it's totally believable, and definitely more like my (currently nonexistent) love life.

I would totally fall for this guy and his lame jokes and nervous banter. (Again, sorry Chen!) It's adorable.

Toward the end I did feel the story moved a little too fast, not that there was too much action but that I would have liked to live in that world a bit longer, had a few more details and really liven up the second half with more of their situation and drawing me into the event. I really enjoyed this book, I had to re-read a couple pages at the end to really follow what was happening and I think it had to do with keeping the end plan a mystery until it the last possible second when it happened and suddenly he's doing something completely off the wall and I just didn't pay close enough attention (which happens a lot when a three year old is attacking you with dinosaurs while trying to read the grand finale!!!!)

But, I loved this book. I enjoyed every page and really, really hope there will be another Kangaroo story.

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