Jack Cloud is a ‘page-turner’ aimed at the younger market - both futuristic and contemporary it exudes excitement and fascination that is sure to grip the curious mind of the young adult. Written with humor and depth Adam Deane provides intriguing and fascinating insights into the life, dreams and reality of Jack Cloud (Jonathan Jack - JJ) who ‘viewed each sunset as a gift’ and knew more about space exploration than the ‘so called’ experts’! JJ was also blessed with an impressive family pedigree which readers become more familiar with as the story enfolds – the much-prized Cloud gene. The book for its pure imaginative writing and story telling craft will appeal to both young and less young readers!
A book interspersed with adventure, contemporary insights, cynicism and emotion all wrapped up in an fast moving novel can easily set a trend for young readers eager to follow the exploits of JJ. Character building is a significant plus point in this book – not only the main character Jonathan Jack, but his beloved friend Maggie Blacklace and an obsessive and mysterious suitor Juniper Coldbone – who shared the space experiences and miraculous achievements of the eccentric JJ – purple was his favorite color.
The contemporary message can be seen in the philanthropy of JJ- ‘a team of private chefs preparing organic food to deliver to impoverished hard working families across the globe’ (pg.102). The messages of jealousy and the trials of growing up surrounded by the pain of social conflicts are cleverly woven into the narrative- ‘to the naked eye this power couple (JJ and Juniper) was unstoppable. To the well trained their faces swelled with sadness’ (pg. 104).
The novel is set in the future with lots of references to the mistakes of the past (and the present). His reverence and undoubted talents has reserved an almost omnipotent role for JJ in this future society. His clever creation of ‘Cloud 9’ and his plan to save the world, (if not already too late), from the inevitable destruction of climate change underpins the vast scope of this book and of JJ’s aspirations.
A small team of nine intellectual and technical experts - the Cloud 9 team could single handedly have developed a space program from scratch and saved the world from climate change and yet still exhort the best of any family value worth preserving in contemporary society. Such was JJ’s esteem and adulation that introducing the team to the world was watched by half the world’s population and become the most watched television program ever recorded!
Without giving too much away the conclusion of this book represents a piece of the best fiction writing of its kind – a piece that even the fictional Jonathan Jack Cloud would have been proud - the village of Moonjack is in sight and the Cloud pedigree continues as after all JJ does acknowledge that ‘children are a refueling station of the world’ (pg169).
This is a book that must be read – most good novels that invoke excitement and imagination also contain a deeper message that becomes the vehicle for the narrative. Jack Cloud is one such novel. In the words of the author Adam Deane-‘to deserve one must respect. To respect one must understand’ (pg 173). There is no doubt that readers of all ages - the curious and not so curious - will be totally enthralled with this novel and spend many hours thinking and rethinking the past, present and the future of our society. This new world created by Adam Deane is a gift of escapism for the young reader with a twist of humor, intellectual curiosity and excitement – a must read novel.