Appendix Man by Angus McNeil

cover image

Crowbar Media, 2017. ISBN 9781925658002
Themes: self-belief, friendship, superheroes. Leon and Daisy have been friends since primary school, but when 17 year old Daisy declares she is going to be Australia's first megahero, her first target being eco-villain, Dr Green who aims to destroy people for damaging the planet, all Leon can do is be supportive and suggest she might be overreaching her abilities. Undaunted Daisy adopts the name "Appendix Man" after an operation. Both their parents go off on an unexpected holiday together leaving the friends to find all the accoutrements needed for a megahero in an underground bunker in the backyard where Daisy's Dad has been experimenting with hi tech gadgets. They team up with the author of a crime-busting website, Ash; added into the mix is Hong, the martial arts teacher whose teaching involves sitting in a red room doing nothing, and the Ginger Ninja who also needs to be defeated before she joins forces with Dr Green and his family.
Set in Melbourne at some time in the future when Koalas are extinct, the story has an unlikely cast with a different twist around fixing the planet. Appendix Man's gender seems to confuse even the author and there are more errors in the text than there should be. I found it difficult to suspend disbelief as the plot became more and more extreme, including genetically modified drop bears with the denouement hinging on preventing the villain finding an organic self-destruct button. However it is essentially a story about friendship and support which may entertain younger readers looking for something a bit different.
A website is available.
Sue Speck