Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Fixers Books 1 & 2: Castle of the Zombies and Planet of the Cyborgs - Sean Williams

Weird stuff is happening in Oliver Jolson’s new street. Moving house is bad enough, but when the internet keeps crashing, the phone lines are out for a whole day and the plumbing gets blocked – something is not right. They’re all signs. But Ollie doesn’t make the connection until it’s too late. Something extraordinarily freaky happens in the middle of the night – something to do with the mysterious instrument-toting Fixers – and Ollie steps through a blue light into a parallel universe. But can he find his way home again?

In Castle of the Zombies, after doing battle with the loathsome Lord Wight to save his new friend Niff’s village from certain destruction in a place where the walls actually have ears and eyes, Ollie finds another blue door that seems to lead him home. But he’s in for a big surprise.

In an attempt to find his true home, Ollie takes another tumble through the blue light of cyberspace in Planet of the Cyborgs. He finds himself on an adventure of intergalactic proportions as he is called out on a rescue mission, this time to deal with a bunch of space pirates who steal people to convert them into cyborg slaves – half-human and half-machine. And his offsider is a cat who thinks he is human.

In The Fixers, Sean Williams has created a series that kids will love. Inventive, cleverly plotted and tightly written, these books are bound to become favourites. Ollie is an entirely believable character who is just fearless enough to take the reader on a rip-roaring adventure. Williams’ world-building is imaginative and entertaining; primary school children will love Ollie’s psychic typewriter and telepathic TV – as well as the cast of characters in this four-book series. Nial O’Connor’s foxy illustrations are spot-on and work well with the text. Recommended.
Omnibus Books 2010

(A version of this review appears in Magpies Vol 25, Issue 5, November 2010)

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