Boomtown is a fun story, overall. Zany and goofy characters and plot twists abound, and in general I like that in a book. It may be a tad too colorful and crazy, but I can forgive that. Clearly, the author was influenced in some respects by one of my favorite children’s books, the Twenty-One Balloons.
In spite of these positives, it’s supposed to be a story for tween readers, and I am struggling to see how they will connect with a story told by a forty-something minister narrator. He was hard for ME to relate to. In general, he seemed weak and ineffective as a father, and not especially pastoral. Actually, the church/pastor angle bothered me quite a bit, I would have rather him have another profession than have the church seem to be just another civic organization or gathering as it appeared in this book.
The main mystery of the story is overshadowed by descriptions of the town (and its peculiarities.) Developing that part more, particularly the involvement of one of the characters, would have added a great deal to the story.
Boomtown is clean and fun. If some of the plots of the novels aimed at this age group are of concern to a parent, this book might be enjoyed by child and appreciated by grown-ups for its lack of questionable content (other than pyromania.) I wish I could give it a more glowing review. (5/10)