Hal Junior: The Missing Case by Simon Haynes
Hal Junior: The Missing Case by Simon Haynes is the second of his Hal Junior books, although they stand alone and reading order isn’t important. The Hal Junior series is itself a spin-off of Haynes Hal Spacejock novels for adults.
Hal Junior is a kid growing up on a space station who is particularly adept at getting himself into trouble and causing havoc. In The Missing Case, he is given the important task of entertaining and looking after a VIP visitor’s son Alex. Except that it turns out Alex isn’t the VIP’s son, but his daughter, much to Hal’s dismay. Alex is also entrusted with looking after her father’s very important (and titular) briefcase. Shenanigans ensue.
Since I started reading the Hal Junior books, I’ve been very curious as to how they fit into the larger Hal Spacejock universe. Initially I thought Hal Junior was going to be about Spacejock’s childhood, but this is obviously not the case once you start reading. There was a hint at the end of The Missing Case which suggests that maybe we’ll find out more soon, hopefully in Hal Junior 3 (which I think isn’t that far off).
The Missing Case is a quick fun read and good for a few laughs. I would also recommend it to kids (I believe the US category is called “middle-grade”, but in Australia I’ve only seen it called “for younger readers”) who enjoy space adventures or reading about general mischief-making.
4 / 5 stars