Out Of This World
By Chris Wooding
Jack is just an ordinary twelve-year-old kid. His parents, however, are anything but ordinary. Jack’s dad is always putting him through grueling assault courses where Jack must fend off hidden attackers. His mom is always testing him on science and math concepts. Neither of Jack’s parents ever seem to sleep and both of them always wear black tracksuits.
Jack has moved many times in his life so he doesn’t have any close friends. When he starts attending yet another new school, Jack is befriended by Thomas, an out-of-shape nerdy kid who is forever sucking on his inhaler.
One afternoon, Thomas drops by Jack’s house unannounced. As he begins to explore, he discovers some rather strange machines hidden in the attic. When Thomas presses a button, he releases a beam of light that changes both their lives forever.
Before Jack realizes what’s happening, some very aggressive aliens appear and they have one target: Jack. As he runs from them he begins to understand why his parents have been testing him his whole life. The aliens believe that Jack is someone called Gradius Clench – some want him dead, and others are willing to take him alive. Soon Jack is caught up in an interstellar war complete with spies, mind-readers, flame-throwers and gates that transport ships between galaxies. Jack and Thomas are whisked away with some very unlikely new friends.
But who is Jack really? Jack himself longs to find out. As he learns more about his parents, Gradius Clench, and the rest of the universe, Jack must make some important decisions about his life. But can he also help save Earth from certain destruction?
Author Chris Wooding makes science fiction fun. Those who like space aliens and superheroes will love Out Of This World!