Ashley and Austin Webster are finally out of the World Wide Web and life is going on normal back at Normal, Illinois – well, not really. The Chiddix Junior High School is holding an annual Young Vocalist Competition, and Ashley is one of the top ten finalists that have a chance at winning the prize: a spot in the televised national Young Vocalist Competition, and a pro Yamaha keyboard. Only a while before it’s her turn to sing, Ashley is accidentally sucked back into the Internet, and Aunt Jessi persuades Austin to send her after the girl. Austin tries to find them both and get them out, but the “perfect” Tucker Campbell, a girl competing for the prize, is out to make sure Ashley doesn’t get back in time.
This book doesn’t have any of the series’ main bad guys, but I still found it enjoyable. The ending is perhaps actually a bit different from one you may predict. I like Jessi and Ashley’s adventures on the web. The online concert is rather fun.
Austin and Ashley Webster are still stuck in the World Wide Web, only this time with Ms. Mattie Blankenskrean’s handheld computer. With the PDA (the handheld) maybe the kids have a chance at getting back Outside, but Ms. B. is after them to get back her handheld so she can continue erasing faith and Christian-related things on the Internet. Bouncing through Old Testament Stories, World War history, a fudge kitchen, (all digital versions on websites) and more, can Ashley and Austin keep the PDA away from Ms. B., find Applet, and get back home?
There are a few things in Fudge Factor that I don’t appreciate and wish Robert Elmer would have left out. But besides that fact, I like this book very much. It has humor, action, and more Internet fun. As with the other Hyperlinkz books, you can learn a little about various history from different websites Austin and Ashley visit.
When Austin Webster brings home a digital camera from a garage sale and takes a picture of his Aunt Jessica’s prize winning beagle, the beagle, whose name is Applet, disappears! Austin and Ashley, his sister, are both sucked into the computer and get separated. Austin and Ashley go from site to site, trying to find Applet and each other. As if that weren’t enough, a Ms. Mattie Blankenskrean (try saying that out loud) is reprogramming or just plain erasing things such as people praying or a hymn. Can Austin and Ashley find each other, find Applet, and get Ms. Blankenskrean’s PDA, which she is using to reprogram and wipe out?
Warning: this book ends on a cliff hanger. If you’re thinking about getting this book as a present for someone, then you may want to buy book two of the Hyperlinz series, Fudge Factor. This book is recommended by Mrs. Donita K. Paul, author of DragonSpell and DragonQuest. You may find this book a little confusing, because it flips back and forth between Ashley, Austin, and Aunt Jessica. However, I like this book. Aunt Jessica is a fun character.