Review Blog

May 16 2011

Zac Power: The Rock Star Files by H.I. Larry

cover image

Zac Power: The Fear Files by H.I. Larry
With the many titles in the Zac Power series being organised sequentially in terms of length and level of difficulty, the concept of including two stories within one jacket is a clever marketing strategy. Children who have begun by tackling the smaller, individual titles would feel a certain sense of achievement as they are seen reading these thicker books. They still contain large double spaced font, full page illustrations and have many small sketches interspersed throughout. In addition, each title introduces many new tools, gadgets and types of transportation, all of which are sure to grab the interest of the emergent young male reader or slightly older reluctant reader.
Filled with positive messages throughout and with each story concluding on a pragmatic note, Zac is unable to take his hero status too seriously. Perseverance, fearlessness, independence, kindness to others and a good work ethic could be drawn out as themes. Although these titles could never be considered prize winning literature, they have nonetheless won their way into the hearts of many young readers. They are never on the shelves in our school library and serve to successfully ease children into other more complex adventures and science fiction stories.

The titles include:
Zac Power: The Rock Star Files
Blockbuster. Hardie Grant Egmont, 2011. ISBN: 978 1921759840.
Whilst at Homework Club, Zac receives an invitation to the premiere of a blockbuster movie. Treated like a star, Zac travels to Hollywood on board a spectacular blimp. Complete with film stars, mansions, computerised limousines and paparazzi, he is introduced to a strange new world with his mission being downloaded from a hotdog! Once on the set of a new movie, Zac meets a bunch of androids and discovers a plot to brainwash the world's best spies. He needs to resolve this situation, before heading home to 'write a thank you note'.
Shock Music (in same volume)
Hunting for a birthday present for his mum, Zac comes across a display of D-Pods, music players similar to iPods. His new mission is to investigate these machines, as it appears that they have the ability to turn their users into zombies under the control of Dr Drastic. With the aid of the CamoSine, he is delivered to the location of for his task and, in the process; Zac is personally introduced to Axe Grinder, his favourite band of all times. Immediately, he begins to establish his new persona as a Rock Star and goes on to uncover the truth behind the D-Pods. Is it his favourite band that is to blame or is Dr Drastic responsible?

Zac Power: The Fear Files
Horror House. Hardie Grant Egmont, 2011. ISBN: 9781921759833.
When Zac receives mission information on his SpyPad, which appears to have been intended for a BIG agent and not him, he heads into a haunted house where he needs to uncover the truth behind the message. On this mission he encounters a scary house complete with everything one would expect to see in the stereotypical 'haunted house', spiders, bats, skeletons, ghosts and more. Luckily Zac has remembered the lessons taught to him by his old granny, parents and brother and is not afraid of anything the house has to offer.

Thrill Ride
Zac is seemingly abducted from an Axe Grinder concert, before being given his new mission, an 'intelligence gathering operation' in which he must bug the conference facility at a new theme park called The Shark Park.
Having to do so disguised as Captain Tentacles the Happy Octopus makes his life challenging and also more embarrassing! In the course of duty, Zac meets some characters who may or may not prove to be enemies and uncovers a sinister plot to which he then tries to put a stop.
Jo Schenkel

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