Cold Cereal by Adam Rex
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book had me until the very end - the satirical look at breakfast cereals (who wouldn't want to try Burlap Crisp or KoKo Lumps?), the unicat, Harvey the semi-invisible rabbit-man were all fun and a little charming. I got the joke about Sir Reggie Dwight being John Doe. The idea that Emily and Erno had a strange (ok, bizarre) home life, that Scott saw strange things, that Goodco was, well, evil? All well and good.
The setting is New Jersey and Goodco is a multi-national cereal company that also dabbles in other things (like medicine, and physics). Scott's mother moves to Goodborough because everyone working for the company lives in the company town, and Scott has to, once again, try to fit in. He meets Emily and Erno, twins who live with their foster Dad, and starts settling down. Until he sees Harvey, and rescues Mick (a leprechaun) and life changes a lot. Emily and Erno have grown up playing weird intellectual games created by their Dad, who suddenly disappears. And that's when the fun starts...
As I said, the premise and the execution were really good, until the end. There's a really long passage near the end where the Big Villian does one of those "now I have you - I'm going to explain my evil plan and evil history and go on for so long that you figure out how to get out of your predicament" speeches, which is where the book lost me. Otherwise this would have been a solid four-star.
ARC provided by publisher.