Book Review: Minion

Minion
Minion by John David Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Michael Morn might be a villain, but he’s really not a bad guy. When you live in New Liberty, there are no Supers and only two kinds of people: those who turn to crime and those who suffer. Michael and his adoptive father spend their days building boxes—special devices with mysterious abilities—that they sell to the mob at a price. They provide for each other, they look out for each other, and they’d never betray each other.

But then a Super comes to town, and Michael’s world is thrown into disarray. The Comet could destroy everything Michael and his dad have built, the safe and secure life they’ve made for themselves. And now Michael and his father face a choice: to hold tight to their life or to let it unravel. -GoodReads

This is such a fantastic book! A perfect companion novel to SideKicked. This story is told from the perspective of the “bad guys” and criminals, hoping not to be caught by the superheroes. It’s not a sequel to SideKicked though, because all the characters are new. Different people, different city, different story.

I thought it was very interesting that the word “minion” comes from and old French word “mignon” meaning “darling”. It explores the meaning of good and evil and the limits of family relationships, friendships, and romance. Really deep stuff, but told with such an action-filled plot and beautifully complex characters. This book tugged at my soul!

Michael Morn is an orphan, whose adopted father is a genius scientist who makes gadgets for criminals. So Michael is in the criminal world sort of by default. He hasn’t really decided to be evil, but as circumstances fall into place around him, he gets sucked deeper into the criminal agenda. His character is so delightfully thoughtful and introspective. He really soaks in the world around him, and we get to experience the ups and downs of the story through his eyes and heart.

Every supporting character is so weird and different and interesting! You never really know what to expect from these separate hierarchies of bad guys. Some are really evil, some are small-time, some are basically good guys in bad circumstances. Then there are the actual superheroes and cops, who are supposed to be the ones shining the light of goodness on the world, but they also have choices to make that put them in gray areas. It’s all so deliciously complicated and convoluted, then it comes down to that one moment of decision for our main character. Just gorgeous writing!

I really loved reading about the relationship between Michael and his adopted father. They have this wonderful trust and love between them that colors the entire the story. Of course, Michael is a teen finding his way, rebelling against authority, discovering his identity both ‘with’ and ‘apart from’ his father. So the father-son relationship is rocky at times, but there’s this assurance that those two will always have each other’s back.

I would have given it 5 stars, but the author uses two of my pet peeves- he bad-mouths religion, and leaves the ending hanging. I need a solid ending with plenty of closure, not this open-ended, artsy, poignant stuff! I need every loose thread tied up in a neat bow at the end! However, I can appreciate that the ending is well-written and it IS poignant. It’s not the style I happen to like, but other people would probably love it.

I love love love this author! Can’t wait to read more of his work!

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher or author in exchange for a free and honest review.

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