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Please Don't Tell My Parents I Blew Up the…
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Please Don't Tell My Parents I Blew Up the Moon

by Richard Roberts

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I would like to thank Curiosity Quills Press for a copy of this e-book to review. Though I received this e-book for free, that has no impact upon the honesty of my review.

Goodreads Teaser: "Supervillains do not merely play hooky.

True, coming back to school after a month spent fighting - and defeating - adult superheroes is a bit of a comedown for the Inscrutable Machine. When offered a chance to skip school in the most dramatic way possible, Penelope Akk can't resist. With the help of a giant spider and mysterious red goo, she builds a spaceship and flies to Jupiter.

Mutant goats.
Secret human colonies.
A war between three alien races with humanity as the prize.
Robot overlords and evil plots.

Penny and her friends find all this and more on Jupiter's moons, but what they don't find are any heroes to save the day.

Fortunately, they have an angry eleven year old and a whole lot of mad science..."

Picking up not to long after book one left off, Penny, Ray, and Claire almost immediately get themselves into a whole new level of supervillain fun. Space, the final frontier. . . Only it probably isn't the final frontier for The Inscrutable Machine.

Though the kids continue to gain a bit more depth, this book seems a bit more focused on the action end of the whole supervillain equation. And there is more than enough action to be had for each of them, which is crystal clear to all of them when they each find themselves missing, of all things, school! Of course before they get anywhere near that stage they encounter all sorts of interesting characters, running the gamut from normal, to supreme evil, to ultimate heroes.

Along the way Penny begins to realize what Mourning Dove mentioned about her superpower being a problem for her. It keeps wanting to create things that, though initially fun, aren't exactly what they seem to be in the beginning. In fact, some are flat out evil. And while The Inscrutable Machine likes to play at being supervillains, they aren't ready to commit to a lifetime of supreme villainy beyond their own worst expectations. So they are growing up. Aren't they? The way this one ends makes me hope that they'll be able to embrace becoming superheroes, even if they have to leave The Inscrutable Machine behind to achieve it.

I did find it interesting that with Penny's professed love of history, and her oral recitation in class while in space, she never seemed to catch the outrageously obvious clues that were right in front of her face. Dealing with a strange 'witch-woman' named Juno who was all about restoring the Jovians? While they are bouncing from place to place around Jupiter? I still haven't decided if that was an inside joke of Mr. Roberts', or what. Obviously he knows the history of those names and places, so why have his evil mistressmind (kinda wanted to see how it felt to change the gender on that powerful word) be totally oblivious to such blatant clues? Maybe it will be explained in the next book, or maybe I'll simply have to learn to let it go, someday.

As with the first book, this one tells a great story, filled with action, emotions, and built in lessons for both the characters and readers. The pacing felt better to me in this book than it did in the first, but that may have related to this story having a more linear feel. Either way, I certainly enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book! ( )
  Isisunit | Jan 30, 2016 |
Penny, Claire and Ray are back from their supervillained shenanigans over the holidays and they are now back at school.

And they are bored. So very bored.

So when a supervillain offers them the chance to explore space and visit the moons of Jupiter, of course they jump at the chance!

Robots, alien goo, warring factions, oppressive automatons, and so much more – Penny and her friends are deeply involved in all of it.

Penny and her minions in the Infernal Machine are back – and I have been looking forward to this one.

This book takes the story to a completely different world – literally. The supervillains go into space using Penny’s magnificent inventions to explore new world and discover a really wide cast of characters and factions around Jupiter’s Moons

The world here is really impressive in its complexities. We have so many different factions with a range of different plots and motivations and agendas which don’t always work together. Each society/faction is very different and there’s a lot of storyline elements from each one – as well as characters who either cross the line between the different factions or draw upon lines from different faction – and even have motivations simply above and beyond their factions. I like that in particular because it’s always tempting just to make characters little avatars of the factions they represent.

Absolutely nothing about this is simple. Even the hallucinating space goat. No, really.

There’s also some really interesting interaction between Penny and another super-powered being she finds there, Remmy. I like how Penny has been established as powerful and special – but she still has peers and equals. I like the complexity of their relationship with reasonable misunderstandings, competition, friendship, jealousy and just a lot of very real emotion as well as some very pointed lessons about underestimating people and assuming their own super capabilities

If I have a complaint it’s because this book is TOO complex. Too many factions, too many people, too many separate agendas – and all of it completely introduced at once while the gang try to learn it all and wallow in the middle of it while pushing a storyline. And I wasn’t even sure what the storyline was. What were the Infernal Machine doing? What was their actual agenda there? I honestly didn’t know and I did feel kind of lost and confused more than once as I tried to remember who all these people where and, ultimately, why the Infernal Machine should care. In some ways they felt like a clumsy insert causing a lot of problems as they plunged into a situation they knew little about

And increasingly I think that’s the point – though that may be inferring more complexity than intended. Penny and her friends jump into a situation they barely understand, absolutely determined to HELP and make things better for the locals. And they certainly do improve some things with Penny’s super powers. But at the same time they cause a lot of unintended problems and even come close to outright disaster simply because they have absolutely no idea of what they are working with. In a way it’s an excellent depiction of how power + good intentions + ignorance can lead to utter disaster.

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  FangsfortheFantasy | May 24, 2015 |
*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

The Inscrutable Machine has been living on a high, taking on and defeating adult superheroes, but it’s time to go back to school. How boring. Penelope, Ray and Claire have caught the itch and now they need more daring do to, well, do. When an opportunity drops into their laps they don’t need very much persuading to run off straight into another adventure. Only this time they aren’t fighting on Earth. They’re fighting in outer space.

I loved the first book, Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Super Villain. It was quirky, fast-paced and fun. However, this second book failed to wow me. The Inscrutable Machine keep saying they want to be Heroes, not Villains, but I don’t see much in their actions to tell me that’s what they truly want. They love being known as the villains. And while I know they aren’t even in high school yet, they are really immature. Immature combined with super powers is not a good thing. And Penny’s parents are supposed to be super smart. How have they not twigged to the fact that the Inscrutable Machine is made up of Penny and her friends?

Another problem I had with this story is the whole plot of going to outer space. I was confused from the moment they left Earth until they got back. I understood nothing about what went on for about ¾ of the book. Colonies that we’ve heard nothing about. Weird mutant goats. Alien races and their war that I couldn’t separate or keep straight. Robots. And what exactly was that red gooey stuff? Besides being gross. There was just too much going on in this book. I couldn’t keep it straight or keep up with what was happening. There’s also some kind of Super Villain/Super Hero history that isn’t explained yet it’s written into the book as if everyone should know it. I was disappointed in the story, but I do love the cover. ( )
  AVoraciousReader | Mar 31, 2015 |
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Supervillains do not merely play hooky. True, coming back to school after a month spent fighting-and defeating-adult superheroes is a bit of a comedown for the Inscrutable Machine. When offered the chance to skip school in the most dramatic way possible, Penelope Akk can't resist. With the help of a giant spider and mysterious red goo, she builds a spaceship and flies to Jupiter. Mutant goats. Secret human colonies. A war between three alien races with humanity as the prize. Robot overlords and evil plots. Penny and her friends find all this and more on Jupiter's moons, but what they don't find are any heroes to save the day. Fortunately, they have an angry eleven year old and a whole lot of mad science . . .… (more)

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