Con Quest! by Sam Maggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cat is determined that this is the year she and her twin brother – Team DoubleTrouble – are going to win the Quest, giving her talented artist brother a shot at a mentorship, and giving her a whole week spending time with her favorite celebrity doing charity work. The Quest is the world’s biggest scavenger hunt. Its list of nearly impossible tasks is posted just before GeekiCon, which most definitely does not endorse the event. All they have to do is complete the most tasks without getting stopped by their parents (who are late to the panel on their own famous comic series), their older sister Fiona (who would rather be just about anywhere else), or Con staff (who take a dim view of this whole scavenger hunt business). Easy, right?
Alex would like the opportunity to be mentored by a professional artist, but the GeekiCon scene is overwhelming. He is much more interested in playing a video game to calm his anxiety about being in such a huge crowd. He’s generally let Cat lead the way, but he’s starting to feel like maybe he should stand up for himself a little more. Cat seems ready to do anything to win this year, but is victory worth the cost?
Fiona is going to watch her twin siblings all day while her parents are busy doing professional stuff at GeekiCon, in hopes that she will prove herself responsible enough for them to allow her to go on a camping trip with other teens. Spending the day cooped up inside a convention center full of obsessive fans is the opposite of her idea of a good time; she’d much rather be outdoors, playing soccer or spending time with Ethan and “the rest of the cool people in tenth grade”. When the twins give her the slip, she joins forces with an unlikely ally to track them down, and she might even have some fun.
Con Quest! is a love-letter to fandom. It is easy to identify the real world media franchises playfully presented as Star Worlds, Paranormal, and Adventure of Zenia. (My personal favorite is Whom, M.D.) Chapter narration rotates from Cat to Alex to Fiona, giving their individual takes on the action around them and each other. They all have their own flaws and strengths, as well as lessons to learn.
This is a fun romp with a big heart. Love and family are central themes, in all the glorious variety of ways human beings form families and show love. Be drawn into the story by the action, but don’t be surprised if you fall a little bit in love along the way.
Source: e-ARC courtesy of NetGalley.