A toaster on Mars by Darrell Pitt
Text, 2016. ISBN 9781922182869
(Age: Upper Primary, Junior secondary) It's a future world, the 26th Century, suffering from pollution, 'and not enough people using deodorant'. There are robots aplenty, cyborgs and varied creatures from other planets.
It is 'home, sweet home' to Blake Carter, a law-enforcement officer, searching for evil mastermind, Bartholomew Badde, who threatens the world with a stolen Super-EMP, a fearsome weapon. While investigating Badde's whereabouts, Blake is attacked and hospitalised. Bad news continues: he is forced to accept a cyborg (the toaster of the title) for a partner, he is taken off the case and his daughter, Lisa, is kidnapped by Badde.
As ransom for Blake's daughter, Badde demands that Blake obtain for him, the top-secret computer virus, called Maria. It can crack any firewall and scramble any operating system within minutes. To force Blake's hand, Badde threatens Lisa with insidious torture - watching reruns of the Brady Bunch.
His ex-wife, Astrid, joins Blake and Nikki Steel, the cyborg, as they try to break in to GADO, to locate Maria. Their adventures include eluding a mutant, rampaging cheese sandwich, the result of radioactive waste, a cannibal who threatens to eat them and a group of Elvis clones, trapped in an inter-dimensional pocket in space.
Despite Blake's best efforts to capture Badde, he escapes yet again to cause more havoc in a sequel.
Upper Primary and Lower Secondary students who appreciate the ridiculous will enjoy this fast paced book with its zany sense of humour. There is nothing subtle about the irony in the novel, which creates many laugh-out-loud moments.