While I have my favorite go-to authors, I genuinely love to seek out and find new authors out there as well. I have been looking forward to Masterminds Incorporated: An Appointment with Fear by Chad Lee Erway since we first reported his campaign to get it published. So when I was asked to read the book, I was excited for a couple of reasons. I love reading new authors, and his book is in a genre I enjoy to read as well. It is the first book in a YA series that has some action, scares and a cast of characters that are enjoyable. Let’s find out more about Chad Lee Erway’s debut novel!
When 11-year old Jesse Beamish moves to the small seaside town of Wolverton, he thinks surviving his first day at a new school is going to be his biggest problem. But, getting to class on time and avoiding bullies quickly becomes the least of his worries.
Jesse soon discovers there are sinister forces at work in Wolverton. Someone, or something, is attacking the townspeople after dark, leaving petrified victims in its wake… and now it’s after him!
After recruiting some new friends and dusting off his old detective agency, Masterminds Incorporated, Jesse and company have no choice but to take on this mysterious force themselves. They must work quickly to find out who, or what, is behind these attacks or risk becoming victims themselves.
This book drew me right in. I certainly can’t say that for all the books I’ve read in my life. I actually found myself reading this one at work on my lunch hour to find out in what direction the adventure was going to go. Jesse Beamish is a highly relatable character whether you are a teen or adult. You really feel for him. He’s moved to a town called Wolverton, which is a clever name for this place. I love touches like that in novels. It just adds to the fun of the story.
You empathize with Jesse as being the new kid, worrying about typical new kid at school things, like learning a new school, meeting new teachers and making new friends. He soon learns that being the new kid is the least of his worries. There is something bigger going on in Wolverton. He befriends a great group of kids and reboots Masterminds Incorporated, a detective agency he had in his old town, to find out what is attacking people in the dark in Wolverton.
Chad Lee Erway develops dynamic characters that you care about. You can identify with and relate with each of the young kids in the book. He definitely keeps the story centered around the kids, which is exactly what you expect in a young adult book. The parents are around, but not as the main characters. The way he unfolds each person is woven into the story so well that you forget sometimes that these are kids! That is key in young adult. I believe that if you can keep both the older and the younger reader interested in your novel, then you have done your job as the writer. Erway certainly succeeds at this! My interest was kept throughout and Masterminds Incorporated was one of my fastest reads lately.
I am partial to books with clubs. The Babysitter’s Club and Encyclopedia Brown were definite must reads for me. I guess I always wanted to do that as a kid. How cool would it have been to have your own detective agency? When we were kids, didn’t we always imagine that the adults in our lives were something more than just teachers or grocery store clerks? Chad Lee Erway nails this very idea.
Now you may be asking yourself, are there any scares in this book? YES! There are some great scenes in this book that are definitely not only action packed but scary as well. They got my heart pumping for sure! The villains are edgy and they definitely get under your skin. It takes a real talent to be able to put scary moments in a book that is appropriate for kids that adults can enjoy as well. Erway definitely succeeds at both!
I believe I can best describe this book as follows.
A touch of The Monster Squad with a sprinkle of Encyclopedia Brown and a dash of The Goonies, Chad Lee Erway creates a highly imaginative story with some real jump scares. Get ready for one heck of a thrill ride along with the kids of Masterminds Incorporated!
I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series. If you love any of the above mentioned films and books, do yourself a favor and read this book! You may purchase the book at many book sellers, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Meet Chad Lee Erway
With my 40th birthday on the horizon, I decided it was time to put all those adventures and stories that I’d been storing away down on paper and turn them loose on the world.