The Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael Grant (2010)

After the EMTs took Stefan away, Mack made it home unmolested by any more bullies, possibly because he was shirtless except for the neck band of his destroyed T-shirt, and his hands were red with blood up to the elbows. That sort of fashion choice tends to discourage people from bothering you.
Mack’s father was home when Mack came in the side door. His father was staring into the refrigerator with the open door, looking like he might see something really cool if he just kept looking (p 25).

magnificent12Michael Grant’s The Call has me feeling a little giddy at the moment. At first, I thought The Magnificent 12 was simply a 39 Clues knockoff, trying to cash in on the adventure series with online site and cards package. But I was quickly disabused.

Grant’s humorous narrative is often self-mocking. It has a skewing effect that tickles and I enjoyed it very much!

“We choose not our enemies. your foes are the foes of your blood. For in your veins runs the blood true of the Magnifica.”
“Is that Latin?”
“You are called, young hero. Called! To save the world from the nameless evil.”
“What’s the name of this nameless evil?” Mack asked.
“The Pale Queen! But we name her not.”
“You just did.”
The old man looked irritated at being caught in a contradiction (p 83-84).

Mack is a very average guy, living the average life of a twelve year old. Then he saves the Head Bully’s life. His social status changes, an old man appears out of nowhere in the school hallway, and a Gollum moves in to take Mack’s place as he travels “everywhere.”

Through to the end, it truly was funny. I especially enjoyed the notes from Mack’s Gollum on his new life as Mack. A gem that I can’t wait to share with my book club.

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