Johnny Danger: Lie Another DayPeter Millett
Puffin 2016 NZ$18
ISBN 978 0 14 330905 5
This light-hearted lampoon of a spy novel is the second in the series about Johnny Danger, the do-it-yourself schoolboy spy. Having successfully created a false persona as a master spy - in Johnny Danger: d-i-y Spy (2015) - Johnny now has a double task. He has to battle international villains while preventing his older brother Ian from blowing his cover. Not a bad effort, while still maintaining a career as a schoolboy.
His opponent, once again is Dr Disastrous, the sinister villain with the long-suffering henchmen and the desire to get out of prison.
To add to the complications, this time round, not only does Johnny’s old friend Tim seem to be a traitor, but so also does the beautiful spy Penelope Pounds. Just who can Johnny trust as he battles the minions – yes, there are minions, with numbers like 2A and 2B – of the Global Republic of Sinister Spies (G.R.O.S.S.)?
Kiwi writer Peter Millett has a lovely sense of humour, often revealed when his villains gloat:“It’s kill or be killed in the world of evildom. I am the new lion about to take over the pride from the older lion. Bad things happen in the jungle – we’re not living in some sort of Disney movie here!”
“Like the Lion King?” Number 2B asked.
All the usual fart jokes and silly puns are included, along with a few mind-teasing puzzles. Crazy gadgets are another feature of this series and the worst (best?) has to be the Bungee bogie used by Johnny and Tim to escape a crashing plane. High-speed heroes dangling from “long dripping green bogies,” may be tasteless but they are exactly what Johnny’s young readers enjoy.
The readers of Johnny Danger know they’ll never be cool, jet-setting spies but this series lets them enjoy the pretence for a moment.
Trevor Agnew10 Aug 2016