Four Stars

Title: Brainwalker
Author: Robyn Mundell and Stephan Lacast
Publisher: Dualmind Publisher

Fourteen year-old Bernard is full of out of the box ideas—ideas that nobody appreciates. Not his ultra-rational father, not his classmates, and definitely not his teacher, who’s fed up waiting for Bernard’s overdue science project. You’d think with a hotshot quantum physicist for a dad, the assignment would be easy as “pi”, but with his relationship with his father on rocky ground, Bernard is under more pressure than a helium atom.

And Bernard’s impulse control flies out the window when he’s stressed. So instead of turning in his project, he moons the class and gets suspended. Now his dad’s got no choice but to bring him to his work. At the Atom Smasher. It’s the chance of a lifetime for Bernard, who knows smashing atoms at the speed of light can—theoretically—make wormholes. How about that for the most mind-bending science project ever? But when he sneaks into the particle accelerator and someone hits the power button, Bernard ends up in the last place he’d ever want to be.

Inside his father’s brain.

And it’s nothing like the spongy grey mass Bernard studied at school. It’s a galaxy, infinite and alive. Like, people live there. A mysterious civilization on the brink of extinction, as unaware of their host as he is of them. But there’s zero time to process this. Bernard’s about to be caught up in an epic war between the two sides of his dad’s brain over their most precious resource:

Mental Energy.

With his father’s life at stake, Bernard must go up against the tyrannical left side of his father’s brain to save the dying, creative right side. But how the heck is he supposed to do that when he’s just a hopelessly right-brained kid himself?

Overall Review:

I enjoyed reading Brainwalker. I thought the premise was pretty clever – definitely an approach to teenage urban fantasy that I’ve never seen before. I found myself quite enamored with Bernard and all his geeky questions and theories. He’s charming and creative and perceptive – a great counter character to his father, who is obviously having a hard time and is kind of blah.

Bernard accidentally travels through a wormhole and ends up in his Dad’s brain. The plot hinges on a left brain vs. right brain conflict, which is definitely interesting. He also finds out that his Dad’s brain is shutting down due to energy loss and function failure. The science molded with fiction is pretty entertaining, and it creates an interesting conflict for the story.

It’s written well. The characters are well rounded, the conflict is great, and the science is surprisingly interesting. I think the author took a few liberties with the left-brain being totally logical and the right brain being totally logistic, but hey- it’s science fiction, right? Besides…underneath all the neurology, it’s really a story about connection and love and fighting for what’s important.

This is a great read, and perfect for the 12-15 age range.

I received a digital copy of this title for an unbiased opinion and reviewing purposes.