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Beware Bad Parents

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Monday 12 June 2017
Rating:   5

Generally, I like Andrew Smith's dramas. I didn't much like this one, though. The story seems to be a variation on the New Who TV story "The Doctor's Wife." This involves a living planet that can talk, take over minds, cause hallucinations, and so forth. This time, the planet is parent to a bunch of spoiled, uncontolled "children" who just love playing mind tricks for fun and who desperately want to go out on their own because, well, you know, adolescents and all that. The story has all the problems that go with relying on mental superpowers. If something has these superpowers and can create whatever it wants real or imaginary just by thinking about it, then there is no way of stopping it from doing whatever it wants. The writer is stuck with little cheats so that the hero can overcome the monster. And what differentiates mental superpowers from magic? At the end of the story, characters do very stupid things, mostly so that we can have a good parent/ bad parent dichotomy, ended with a long conversation on how to be a good parent. It just does not grab my fancy.

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