Infinity Drake: The Sons of Scarlatti by John McNally
|Infinity Drake: The Sons of Scarlatti by John McNally|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Hugely entertaining action thriller for middle grade readers. Infinity (Finn) Drake is shrunk by his mad scientist uncle to help save the world from a terrible biological weapon. Can he do it? Lots of action, lots of laughs and lots and lots of interesting scientific facts.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416||Date: February 2014|
|Publisher: Harper Collins|
Finn (real name Infinity) Drake is off for a week away in the Pyrenees with his Uncle Al. He's supposed to be at school but Grandma has gone off on a knitting cruise, so she will never know. But before they can be on their way, Al is summoned to a crisis meeting with secret government officials. A lethal bio-weapon - the Scarlatti wasp - has been stolen and released by an uber-villain (who else but an uber-villain) and the world's only chance is to use Al's top secret invention to shrink a combat team to destroy it.
Finn is only supposed to observe but there is an enemy spy in the camp and an act of sabotage sees him shrunk to only 9mm in height and joining two crack soldiers and a female pilot in a tiny Apache helicopter in a race to save the world from total annihilation...
Oh! This story is nuts! So much happens that I can't even begin to precis it here, but suffice it to say that you will never be bored. The action comes thick and fast and humour pervades every page. You might even learn something too - McNally includes all sorts of real world scientific concepts and there are quite a few notes in the text explaining and elaborating on them. The book is a great mix of science fiction and action thriller and it really works.
I can only sound one, very small, note of caution. There is an awful lot going on in Infinity Drake. Almost every sentence combines some action, a joke and a scientific or mathematical fact. This makes it quite dense. Because the action comes so thick and fast, you want to read quickly but if you read too quickly, you might miss the jokes or lose track of what's going on. For this reason, I don't think Infinity Drake is a good choice for the reluctant readers you know. It's one for the book-devourers.
Overall, though, I loved it. Really, really loved it. There's something irresistible about a hero for whom avoiding telling his gran that he is bunking off school is as important as saving the world from a terrible biological weapon! I think Grandma is my favourite character in the entire book, actually, even more fun than accidental hero Finn or madcap scientist Al. Infinity Drake is clever, funny, exciting and original. What more could you want? It's a big release for HarperCollins this spring and I can see why.
I love the Jimmy Coates series - it has less humour than Infinity Drake but it's a great action read that gives you plenty to think about.
You can read more book reviews or buy Infinity Drake: The Sons of Scarlatti by John McNally at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Infinity Drake: The Sons of Scarlatti by John McNally at Amazon.com.
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