Reviews for Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom


Booklist Reviews 2009 August #1
Daring adventure! Dastardly villains! Climactic cliff-hangers! Readers seeking these attributes in a book, look no further. Byrd updates the old movie-serials genre, populates his story with an adventure-seeking family that brings to mind superhero versions of Steve Irwin and his children, and dusts the whole thing with Indiana Jones-style searches for magical artifacts. Oh, and he adds frogs, lots and lots of frogs. Brian and Wren Wilde are being raised by their widower father, who is not only an adventurer extraordinaire but also designs high-tech gadgets, speaks many languages, understands the nuances of other cultures, and performs martial arts with equal skill. Brian and Wren are pretty good in those areas, too. So when their grandfather is captured in the South American jungle by those who worship a frog king intent on swallowing the universe, thus turning it into a black hole, well, something must be done. The premise can get awfully silly even for a book that's more like a cartoon. But the action never stops, and the quick pace will appeal to reluctant readers. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall
Famous adventurer Doc Wilde and his hyper-trained, adventure-seeking children travel to South America to rescue Grandpa Wilde from vicious alien frogs and save the world from an evil plot. Each short chapter is fast paced, intentionally over-the-top, and full of gadgets, near-escapes, and wry humor. Phrases set apart in different fonts or in speech balloons add to the comic-style feel. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2009 April #1
When their scientist grandfather disappears again, 12-year-old Brian, his ten-year-old sister, Wren, and their world-renowned father, Dr. Spartacus Wilde, are off on an adventure to kick off Byrd's debut novel and the first volume in a new series. The high-tech Indiana Jones-type tale takes the adventurers to the uncharted South American jungles of Hidalgo to find Grandpa Wilde, who had researched dark matter and the possibility of traveling to other universes. The problem is that Frogon, a dark god from another universe, wants to take over ours. Besides finding Grandpa, the Wildes must face a glut of frogs--spy frogs, man-frogs, saber-toothed frogs and the dark elder god frog--and save the universe. Written in fast-paced, intelligent prose laced with humor and literary allusions ranging from Dante to Dr. Seuss, the story has all of the fun of old-fashioned pulp adventures. A tale "terrifying and dark, of indescribable horrors and eldritch mysteries," this is sure to be Wilde-ly popular, and readers will anxiously await future installments. (Adventure. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2009 August

Gr 4-6--This genial parody owes much to Kenneth Robeson's iconic "Doc Savage" novels (Bantam) and the eldritch tales of H. P. Lovecraft. Like the original Man of Bronze, Doc Spartacus Wilde is an international adventurer--he's a master of martial arts, chemistry, disguise, and pretty much every other skill a true champion needs. Moreover, he has trained his children, Wren and Brian, to follow in his outsized footsteps. Every pulp hero needs a colorful sidekick or two, and the Wilde family has brawny Irishman Declan and dapper English attorney Bartlett--fast friends who bicker and spar constantly. When Grandpa Wilde is kidnapped by froglike beings, Wren and Brian accompany their dad's team deep into the Amazon rainforest to the hidden country of Hidalgo. The local militia commander seems friendly enough, but the Wildes aren't sure they can trust him. Sure enough, they discover that Don Gongoro is high priest of a cult devoted to the evil god Frogon, and he and his mutant-frog minions plan to use Declan in a ritual to open a passage to Frogon's dark universe. If the Wilde team can't stop the ceremony in time, civilization is doomed. The action bounces breathlessly from crisis to crisis, with the Wilde family's scientific gadgetry and arcane skills in constant demand. The mock heroic dialogue is sometimes a bit exaggerated, but for the most part, everything is played with a straight face. Kids won't be familiar with the adult-oriented sources, but the book's small format, breakneck pacing, and broad humor will appeal to middle-grade adventure fans.--Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL

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