Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe: A wacky MG SF story

Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsSal and Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsReaders who enjoyed Carlos Hernandez’s Nebula-nominated Sal and Gabi Break the Universe are likely to also enjoy the sequel, Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe (2020). The story picks up where the previous one left off. Sal’s “magical” abilities have left holes in the universe and his father (Papi) is building a machine (in the living room) that he hopes will fix the holes. But Sal notices that the machine makes him feel sad when he’s around it… and it might be developing consciousness.

Other weird things are happening, too. Sal meets a Gabby from another universe who has come to warn him about Papi’s machine. The new toilet at school wants to be friends. The entropy sweeper (that we met in the previous book) has ambitions and is willing to cheat. Gabby (the one from Sal’s universe) is spying on people with drones.

The story is silly, wacky, and often hilarious, such as when Papi’s machine and the entropy sweeper are arguing, and when Sal’s butt gets wedged into the chicken factory universe in the bully’s locker.

The plot is a little too similar to the plot of the previous book, including an episode where all the parents get together to help the kids pull off another amazing school production, but it’s all just as charming as it was the first time. And sweet. There are a few tear-jerking scenes involving Yasmany, the loveable dancing bully.

Hernandez continues to educate his audience about diabetes, bullying, Cuban culture, and just a touch of physical cosmology and metaphysics. I love what he says about art — that people make art to show you what the world feels like to them and that we should put aside our preconceptions and try to understand what the artist is trying to show us.

Listening Library’s audio version of Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe is so entertaining. Anthony Rey Perez gives a wonderful performance that I recommend if you want to read the SAL AND GABI books.

Published in May 2020. Sal and Gabi have to try to make everything right with our world when there is a rogue Gabi from another universe running loose. Sal Vidon creates wormholes. But Sal’s father, a calamity physicist, is trying to shut down all the wormholes Sal creates, because Papi thinks they are eroding the very fabric of our world. All of Papi’s efforts are in vain, however, because a Gabi from another universe has gone rogue and is popping up all over the place, seeking revenge for the fact that her world has been destroyed. While Sal and Gabi work together to keep both Papi and Rogue Gabi under control, they also have to solve the mystery of Yasmany, who has gone missing from school. Could it have something to do with the wormhole in the back of his locker?

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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