Gr 6-9-Characterization takes a backseat to action in this second entry in a fantasy series set at Capra Video High School, where four students have the magical ability to enter into a movie, become the protagonist, and fight fictional evil, mirroring the fight against evil in the real world. In this book, Kaz Murneau becomes the Vidz character Kathleen and uses a time machine to prevent the tragedy that killed Kathleen's famous scientist parents and to root out the villain who caused them harm. Kaz experiences her character's memories and feelings with a sense of distance and detachment. In real life, to which she returns by yelling, "Cut!" she is a tough customer who exhibits scant emotion-the spat she maintains with her father over his business failure feels superficial and melodramatic. Black-and-white manga-style drawings representing camera shots illustrate some scenes. The plot, which includes changing levels of reality and fantasy, and switches quickly between the past and present, occasionally seems to lose focus. Eventually, in her own world, Kaz defeats none other than the high school librarian, a glamorous woman who has been showing movies that brainwash local youth into robbing their parents. For larger collections.-Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
The Fast Forward series launched last season with A Dangerous Secret, about a high school whose students are selectively chosen to cross over into a celluloid life in a "Vidz." Now the spotlight shifts from Hamish to Kaz, who invents a time machine in her parallel universe, in Time Trap by Ian Bone, illustrated with clever comic strip-like accompaniment by Jobi Murphy. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.