Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Villain's Lair (The Gecko and Sticky Series)

Villain's Lair (The Gecko and Sticky Series)

4.3 6
by Wendelin Van Draanen

See All Formats & Editions

The Gecko & Sticky are a fabulous crime-fighting duo! This quartet of funny adventures will appeal to fans of superheroes both young and old, and would make terrific all-family read-alouds.

Dave Sanchez is an average boy with an after-school job and a pet gecko named Sticky. All very normal—until the day Sticky talks!

Sticky tells Dave a


The Gecko & Sticky are a fabulous crime-fighting duo! This quartet of funny adventures will appeal to fans of superheroes both young and old, and would make terrific all-family read-alouds.

Dave Sanchez is an average boy with an after-school job and a pet gecko named Sticky. All very normal—until the day Sticky talks!

Sticky tells Dave a wild tale of a former life of crime, searching for Aztec gold with a treasure hunter named Damien Black, and of a magical Aztec wristband with shiny gold power ingots that will give the wearer super powers. Dave doesn’t believe a word—until Sticky shows him the wristband.

But while Sticky managed to escape with the wristband, Damien Black has the power ingots. So the lizard and treasure hunter each have something the other wants . . . very badly. 

Filled with wild adventures, larger-than-life characters, and snappy-funny dialogue, The Gecko and Sticky books are perfect for young superheroes everywhere. 

Don't miss the other Gecko & Sticky adventures:  
1. The Villain's Lair,
2. The Greatest Power,
3. Sinister Substitute,
4. The Power Potion.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Van Draanen (the Shredderman books) sets a madcap new series in motion, introducing 13-year-old Dave and Sticky, a talking gecko he rescues from the clutches of a neighbor's cat. The lizard drags the boy to the "maniacal mansion" of a "dastardly demented" scoundrel to retrieve ancient ingots which, when placed into slots on an Aztec wristband, give the wearer superhuman abilities. Though Dave is hoping to snatch coins that bestow invisibility or flying powers, he instead grabs an ingot that enables him to scale walls gecko-style (explaining the possibly confusing title of the series), best the villain and become a hero. Peppered with exaggerated alliteration and the excitable lizard's Spanish-tinged "Stickynese" ("Freaky frijoles!"; "Holy tacarole!"), the wisecracking narrative bounds from one slapstick scenario to another. Gilpen's halftone illustrations add to the good-natured inanity, and a glossary collects Sticky's vocabulary. Dave reappears-and, courtesy of another ingot, disappears-in The Gecko & Sticky: The Greatest Power, due in May. Ages 8-12.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6

Dave, 13, and a kleptomaniac gecko named Sticky team up to stop an evil treasure hunter, Damien Black. They visit his haunted mansion and battle mariachi bandits and Komodo dragons to retrieve ingots that give the wearer invisibility, flight, and wall-climbing abilities. Good prevails. Fans of Chet Gecko or Geronimo Stilton may like this series, but it could use some polish. The series title seems to refer twice to Sticky, which doesn't make sense, and it is unclear why he speaks Spanish. It is as though the Taco Bell and GEICO mascots merged. Besides characterization issues, the story has continuity problems. Readers are thrown into 100 pages of nonstop action, then have a strange pit stop for exposition, and finally speed up to a rooftop chase scene. Lastly, the style veers toward the campy. However, the repetitious humor is good for emerging chapter-book readers, and the dialogue is funny. Gilpin's drawings are a definite bonus.-Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT

Kirkus Reviews
A wittily offbeat and action-packed adventure. Readers are immediately plunked into the action as Dave and his talking gecko, Sticky, make their way to Damien Black's creepy mansion through a bat-infested, oozing cave. They are after the magical ingots, which, paired with a wristband already in their possession, give the wearer various amazing powers. Black is an old-fashioned villain, with a "Bwaa-ha-ha-ha-ha!" sense of devilishness, and things get hairy when Dave and Sticky-a reformed (?) thief formerly in Black's employ-are trapped in Black's Pit of Doom. The two narrowly escape with one ingot, the one that provides wall-walking abilities, with Black and his bumbling cohorts in pursuit-all in the first half. The second half is less of a romp, as the villains look for Dave and mistake another boy for him. By tale's end Sticky and Dave learn to trust each other, and, of course, the power of good prevails over evil. A dastardly good read that benefits from its quirky drawings and may well become a can't-wait-for-the-next-one series. (Fantasy. 8-12)
From the Publisher
Praise for the Gecko & Sticky books:

"A dastardly good read. Written with gleeful wit, rapid-fire pacing and snappy dialogue." — Kirkus Reviews

"Fearsome is rarely this much fun. Van Draanen has a super imagination, to which she never applies the brakes. Readers who enjoy loony adventures will love this ride." — Children's Literature

"Consistently entertaining . . . reaching a frenetic level of energy and comedy as the story's tension builds." — Booklist

"Peppered with exaggerated alliteration and the excitable lizard's Spanish-tinged 'Stickynese,' the wisecracking narrative bounds from one slapstick scenario to another." — Publishers Weekly

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Gecko and Sticky Series
Sold by:
Random House
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN spent many years as a teacher before devoting herself to writing full-time. She loves reading, running, writing, and rock 'n roll!  

Her books for younger readers include The Gecko & Sticky quartet and The Shredderman quartet. For middle graders check out the Sammy Keyes mysteries and Swear to Howdy.  For tweens and teens, look for Flipped, The Running Dream, Confessions of a Serial Kisser, and Runaway.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Villain's Lair 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Andy_11 More than 1 year ago
I hated reading, but not anymore! I read all the Shreddermans and when I found out there were Gecko and Sticky books I couldnt wait. The athur is so funny, and this book is crazy funny! I laughed all over the place. Lots of stuff happens. Damian Black is the bad guy, and Dave and Sticky are the good guys, and they all get twisted up in a big scary mansion with trap doors and sppooky rooms and a kommodo dragon! The pictures are great, too. I can't wait for the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This childish, stupid, na¿ve, boring, retarded, weird, and awful book is an insult to my inteligence!!! It wasnt very funny and even though i am capable to read at a seniors reading level i was confused!!! The whole idea of a talking lizard and a boy defeating an evil dude trying to take over the world is just STUPID!!! If you waste money that can be spent elsewhere on this book than you are stupid too!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now OK, this is a bit of a kid's book, and I'm not exactly a kid... but I still LOVED it! It was entertaining, exciting, and REALLY funny! I swear, the sticky (no pun intended) situations the Gecko gets into... they're just a crackup! The plotline flows really smoothly, too. (Yes, the boy is called "The Gecko," while the actual gecko is named Sticky. It's a joke. The Gecko and Sticky originated as a (fictional) TV show within another book series (the Shredderman series), and in *that* series the protagonist's mom complains that it's confusing.)
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
A boy and his pet gecko. It doesn't seem like the makings of much of an adventure, but imagine if it was a talking gecko with notoriously "sticky" fingers.

Dave Sanchez is a pretty normal kid. He lives in an apartment with his hardworking parents and his annoying sister. Life was fairly routine until the day his pet gecko announced that he could talk. He told some crazy story about helping three loco banditos in their get-rich-quick schemes.

Now he says he is trying to track down the diabolical Damien Black.

Sticky the gecko has a powerful Aztec wristband known for its superpowers. The catch is that the evil Damien Black has the power ingots that must be snapped into the wristband to activate its powers - invisibility and the power of flight - just to name a few.

According to Sticky, they must get to the ingots before Damien gets to the wristband and begins his plan to take over the world. Their adventure begins as they battle slimy snails, shrieking bats, and shrunken heads to gain access to Damien's frightful mansion.

This new series by author Wendelin Van Draanen offers fast-paced action and quick-witted humor. Dave and his sassy sidekick Sticky are sure to please fans of Van Draanen's earlier SHREDDERMAN series.

This is an excellent choice for boys and especially reluctant readers looking for fun and adventure.
ShanSB More than 1 year ago
I was very excited when I saw this book because my son has a gecko and I thought it would be a great connection to reading. We have just begun the book and I am already a little disapointed. We are a little confused about the title because the gecko's name is Sticky. Shouldn't the book be called Dave & Sticky? Also, the words don't flow very well. So, to summarize my thoughts, I like the idea of the book but I'm not very impressed with the writing.