Reviewed by Caleb S.

Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation is the debut novel for Matt Myklusch. The book is marketed for young adults with Jack Blank as the 12-year-old main character. He has spent his whole life in St. Barnaby’s Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten, and Lost, an orphanage for those so described, and has wished everyday to be someone else.

Jack Blank was left on the doorstep of St. Barnaby’s as a babe with a note pinned to his blanket calling him Jack. He grew up at the orphanage, much against his preferences. Like all boys, Jack had daydreams about getting super powers and becoming a superhero.

One day while bailing out the basement as punishment for reading comic books, he’s attacked by a large cyborg that resembles the robots in his comics and he barely escapes. While trying to explain the damage caused by the robot (which blew up leaving no trace and Jack as the culprit), a stranger, Jazon Knight, arrives and whisks Jack away. Jazon tells him about the Imagine Nation where all the impossible is possible and that is Jack’s homeland. This is the beginning of Jacks adventures and the old adage ‘be careful what you wish for, you just might get it’ holds true.

The book is similar to the Harry Potter and Alcatraz Smedry (Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarians) books and in many ways really reminded me of Alcatraz. Both Alcatraz and Blank are raised as orphans, knowing/wishing they had a different life, then finding out they were sent from their secret country to live among the unenlightened. While Alcatraz is very tongue-in-cheek, Blank is a bit more serious, though still a lot of fun. A great young adult novel.

Caleb is a software engineer and amature woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Aladdin. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.