Monday, June 10, 2013
Only You Can Save Mankind (1992)
Our hero, Johnny Maxwell, doesn't believe that he is the only one who could save mankind. The war in Iraq and his parents divorce has got him out of sorts; when the novel opens, Johnny is escaping into the world of computer games. But when his game of the moment--Only You Can Save Mankind--starts acting strangely, his escape becomes more disturbing than reality itself: for the aliens in the game are communicating with him. The aliens are SURRENDERING to him and asking him for safe escort back to their home planet! Johnny thinks that's a bizarre twist for a game. But after thinking about it, he goes with it. And then come the dreams…
Pratchett explores reality and fantasy in this YA drama that examines the whys of war and explores how we define "enemies."
It would be interesting to read this one alongside Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
Only You Can Save Mankind is a bizarre book. It is a bizarre coming-of-age story as Johnny Maxwell learns a few life lessons. What makes the story odd is HOW those life-lessons are learned.
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews