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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Unfocused Man: The Comet Kid Chronicles #2 is a fantasy/science fiction novel written by Tom Hoffman. After their adventures on the planet Ardenia, eleven-year-old Max and his big sister, Grace, were having some problems adjusting to life in their home surrounded by cornfields. Even the knowledge that their parents were far more than the boring government workers they had thought they were didn’t make up for the rather humdrum small-town life they left. They both missed their friend Sophie and found their parents’ request that they do not try to find her difficult to heed. Something happened; however; that made contacting Sophie an imperative. And it all started in the oddest of ways...
The Unfocused Man had me remembering how mind-bogglingly exciting discovering science fiction was for me when I was in the age group targeted for this book. Hoffman deftly brings the new reader into the action within the first few pages of this book. That said, do consider reading these books in order. They are marvelous and loads of fun no matter your age or inclination towards middle-grade science fiction. Hoffman weaves science fiction concepts and terminology smoothly and fluidly, effortlessly initiating a new generation of readers into the magic that is science fiction.
I loved this story. Hoffman’s irrepressible humor and vibrant inner child shines out throughout this imaginative and enjoyable adventure. The plot is solid yet sprightly and the action is non-stop. I took my time reading this book; I wanted to enjoy every nuance and bit of fun sprinkled throughout the work. Be prepared to laugh out loud sometimes; the humor in this entertaining and wise story is infectious and refreshingly middle grade oriented. As always, Hoffman’s characters are beautifully fleshed out and real; his writing seems effortless and elegant, and his story rocks. The Comet Kid Chronicle is a series you won’t want to miss. It’s most highly recommended.