Book Review: Con Quest! by Sam Maggs (Middle-Grade)
Melissa joins twins Alex and Cat for an adventure through fandom as they compete to win the Quest at their favorite convention.
Every year, twins Alex and Cat attend the biggest comics convention in the world, Geekicon, with their comics creator parents. This year, they are determined to win The Quest, a con-wide scavenger hunt where the winner gets to hang with the cast of hit show Paranormal. Unfortunately, they have to outrun their older sister Fi, a convention worker who thinks kids have no place at cons, as well as older, more experienced questers if they’re going to win. One thing’s for sure, they are going to have one hell of an adventure.
Con-Quest! | Written by Sam Maggs
This book is a love letter to cons and fandom. While it may be geared towards younger fans, that in no way makes the story inferior. If you’ve been to a big con, whether it’s Star Wars Celebration, San Diego Comic-Con, or New York City Comic-Con, you know what a con can be like, and this book describes it perfectly. The wonder at everything, the rush to panels, the excitement of meeting your idols. It’s all here.
The Quest is an adventure through the con and fandom as the kids try to tackle all kinds of crazy things, like convince a cosplayer you know who they are even though you don’t and playing a sport down the escalators. They encounter fans of all ages and types, including a gate-keeping con worker who chases them around the con.
Lots of fandoms are referenced in code here. Paranormal is obviously Supernatural, Wormhole and its star Bradley Dan Anders is Stargate SG-1 (the author’s favorite, as well as one of mine) and Richard Dean Anderson respectively, Star Worlds and its General Queen is Star Wars and General-Princess Leia, and Lunar Soldier is Sailor Moon. There’s also Star Trek, Avengers, and Justice League equivalents in this world. I loved every minute of the references and fandom fun. There’s a fandom reference for everyone, including the best ’80s teen movie, Adventures in Babysitting.
While the twins’ story is going on, their older jock sister Fi is learning to love geekdom after literally running into Rowan, a girl from school. There’s even a budding crush here as the girls get to know one another and Rowan helps Fi find her younger siblings and come to terms with her own geekiness. These two have their own adventure as they look for the twins, complete Quest items, and outrun not only the gate-keeping con worker but dodge texts from parents as well.
Fandom for All
Sam Maggs is the author of several non-fiction books, including The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, Wonder Women, and Girl Squads. She’s also the author of Marvel Action comics Captain Marvel from IDW. While this is her first novel, her other upcoming novels include The Unstoppable Wasp: Built on Hope (review to come), and the comics adaptation of Rainbow Rowell’s bestselling novel Fangirl. I look forward to more by Sam in the future.
While Con-Quest! is geared towards middle school students, it’s perfect for geeks of all ages. It would make a great family read-aloud/together. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would love to see a sequel where Fi and Rowan join the twins. Con-Quest! will be released on June 23rd.
Con-Quest! by Sam Maggs is published by Imprint and will be available to buy on June 23rd!
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Melissa Villy is a regular Staff Writer for Future of the Force. She is a passionate Star Wars fan and is the custodian of the FOTF Jedi Archives. Follow her on Twitter @JediLibrarian42 where she uses the force frequently!
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I’m Mina, the Jedi Librarian. I’m a teen services librarian, lover of all the books, and a lifelong Star Wars fan. I’m also secretly a Jedi.