Spit Mechs 2: Baz Ball Review

Title: Spit Mechs 2: Baz Ball | Series: Spit Mechs #2 | Author: Corbett Buchly |  Pub. Date: 2017-7-1 | Pages: 134 | ISBN13: 9780997500936 | Genre: Kids Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy from the author for review consideration.

Spit Mechs 2: Baz Ball

What’s a group of fourth-graders to do when challenged to a game of alien baz ball by the galactic champions? Put on their alien super suits. That’s what. Enjoy this exciting sequel to the original Spit Mechs. – Goodreads
Book cover for Spit Mechs 2: Baz Ball
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Spit Mechs 2: Baz Ball Review

I have not read Spit Mechs 1, but the author assured me that Spit Mechs 2: Baz Ball was a standalone. This was true. I will say, however, that it was over half the book before I found out why they’re called ‘Spit mechs’. (I should have expected the reason, but it definitely made me go “ew” and laugh a bit.)

This is well-tailored for the intended audience. That audience should be early middle-grade reader that preferably loves sports with a side of sci-fi. Outside of that range, it’s an okay read but not exceptional. The three older kids act very age appropriate. The aliens are very alien in appearance, but act like school bullies. Most of the violence that happens is on the level of kicking someone in the shins, or rolling around in a ball. There’s no destructive weapons, just a good old game of baz ball. (With traps. Lots of traps.)

I liked the simple, anime like illustrations, and the font was large, easy-to-read and the lines were well-spaced apart. It’s definitely easy on the eyes. The way the action unfolds, you could read most of it a chapter a night with your kid, but you may want to read the actual baz ball battle all in one go.

The only thing I didn’t care for was the girl, Curie. I have an 8 year old, and if she had acted at 7 like like Curie acts, I would have gone nuts. The rest of the kids were fine. As for the adults – they have little interaction, but they are okay. If you have read House of Robots by James Patterson, you’ll be very familiar with the basic set-up. The mom is a genius, the dad is an illustrator. Though, I do have to say that having a secret laboratory far underneath your home is considerably better than having to take over the family garage as a lab!

Overall, while it wasn’t my favorite kids book that I’ve read recently, Spit Mechs 2: Baz Ball is competently written and may serve well as a bridge book to get reluctant, athletic-minded readers into reading. Personally, my kid didn’t particular care for it. There’s just not enough of the science fiction element that she enjoys in it.  She sort of zoned out partway through the second chapter, and I continued on alone.