7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An impressive debut,
This review is from: Itch (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)This is a book which is being pitched into the territory occupied by characters like Alex Rider (Horowitz) and the Young James Bond (Charlie Higson). I did not have terribly high expectations for this book - I know a fair amount about science, and I read quite a lot of books. But in actual fact, Mayo has done a good job.
There is plenty of sound and interesting science - Mayo has done his research - the "discovering a new element" is handled more convincingly and with more authenticity than, for example, the "unobtanium" in the blockbuster film "Avatar", and that had a few fans! The dialogue is convincing, and the narrative carefully and realistically constructed. The slice of a Year 9 child's life - down to "Lord of the Flies" and photosynthesis - is authentic. Texting, Ugg boots and Facebook chat are part of their lives.
The inner life of the characters is not complex - but then, this is a book that is designed to engage young teens, I imagine - a rattling adventure story, with a bit of education which will hopefully provoke some interest in science. Completely satisfactory from that point of view, and I imagine my son will find it a good read too.