Con Quest! by Sam Maggs
copy from publisher; all opinions are my own
Official Summary (add to Goodreads): Cat and Alex are excited to be at the world’s most popular comics convention–and they’re even more excited to compete in the Quest, a huge scavenger hunt run by an anonymous organizer. The big prize: a chance to meet their favorite nerdy celebrity!
The twins ditch their older sister Fiona and set off to find geeky clues, tackle nerdy challenges, and cross as many items as possible off their Quest list, which includes volunteering at an Artist Alley booth, gathering cosplayers in enough colors to make a double rainbow, and actually finding something healthy to eat in the convention center!
Can the twins work together even when they disagree on how to compete? Will Fiona find Cat and Alex before their parents realize they’re missing? Most importantly, can these ultimate fans complete the Quest?
Review: Con Quest! is just a fun middle grade novel. It’s also very diverse and inclusive and I absolutely loved this. It’s great to see this in any book, but it’s even better to see it in books for younger readers so that this becomes the norm for them. There’s LGBT+ characters, the use of they/them pronouns, Alex has autism, multicultural characters, etc.
The basic premise of the story is that twins, Cat and Alex, are taking part in the Quest, a scavenger hunt at a huge comic book convention. It’s essentially against the rules to do the Quest, so they have to keep running from a particularly upset security guard. They are also trying to avoid their older sister, Fiona, who is meant to be watching them – as their parents are comic book/TV show famous and therefore at the con to “work.”
I immediately thought of the scavenger hunt GISH when I first started reading the book, and based on the author’s acknowledgements at the end, it was based on this! For those that don’t know, GISH is the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt, which was created by Supernatural’s Misha Collins. I’ve never done the hunt myself, but I’ve helped a friend with a couple of the prompts in the past.
And that’s another fun aspect of the book – trying to figure out who people are in the “real world.” The book doesn’t use the names of real life shows or actors, but it’s easy to figure out some of their parallel’s – and some might not be as easy, but here is a list of the people/comics/movies that I recognized (or I think I did!):
- the TV show Supernatural and Misha Collins
- Sailor Moon
- the graphic novel Saga and it’s writer & artist
- Star Wars and Princess Leia
- Star Trek