[I received a copy of this book from the publisher.]
The final instalment in this series, or at least for Penny’s arc. The story picks up right after the previous volume’s cliffhanger, with Penny having to contend with her family and friends not believing ‘the evil robot’. One can only imagine the pain and sadness this is for a kid. She didn’t spend time moping, which I definitely liked, and she kept acting and taking the matter into hands, finding people to help her, getting to know her other friends better (like Marcia and Cassie), and revealing both to the readers and to herself that she’s made of tough stuff… But when she started writing letters to her parents, pretending she was at ‘supervillain camp’, that’s when I knew where the hurt had gone.
Also, Gerty. That character was pretty fun.
While I enjoyed it as a light read, though, I must admit I was disappointed about several things, such as:
- The way Penny comes clear to her parents. That was so anticlimactic and infuriating, since this was, after all, quite a stake for Penny.
- Ray and Claire are even more out of the way than in the previous volume. Sure, Penny gets other sidekicks, and doesn’t have to do everything alone, but… That was really a let-down. I like the original Inscrutable Machine trio, and seeing it in that state was heart-breaking.
- Half of the book felt like a filler, which disappointed me even more that if not for that, there would’ve been room and time for meaningful character development.
- No one seemed to stop and consider the Machine’s role for more than a second. When it was obvious that it held the key to who the original Penny was.
- The ending was… predictable. It wraps things up nicely, however I can’t tell it held any surprise for me.
Overall, this is a series I’d still recommend, but I wish it had ended on the same quality as the first book.