Jack and the Geniuses 2: In the Deep Blue Sea by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone
|Jack and the Geniuses 2: In the Deep Blue Sea by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: Another adventure for Jack and his genius companions. There's plenty of well-researched science for the brainiacs, and lots of humour about the perils of living with intellectuals for the rest of us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: September 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
Jack and Ava, aged twelve, Matt (16) and Dr Hank Witherspoon (quite a bit older) have barely recovered from their adventures at the South Pole when they find themselves packing once again, this time en route for the tiny Pacific Ocean island of Nihoa, near Hawaii. Dr Hank has been asked to help solve some problems with millionaire Ashley Hawking's ground-breaking new invention for generating electricity, which performed badly at its first public demonstration, and the wealthy lady has specifically invited his three young companions to come along too. Ava and Matt are excited by the scientific possibilities; Jack, his brain fuelled not by facts but by the exploits of his favourite cartoon programme, Duck Detective, is convinced sabotage is the cause.
There are a motley crew of suspects for Jack to investigate, and while there are plenty of interesting bits of science throughout the story (and an intriguing home experiment at the end, for keen folk to try) the story is told by Jack and therefore accessible to pretty well any reader. He's a lively narrator, spicing up his accounts with plenty of droll one-liners, and the story canters along at a good lick. He gives plenty of information about Ava, Matt and Dr Hank, whom he cares for deeply, and about a rather charming young girl whom he meets on the island, but if there is a complaint about the book, it is that the other characters, suspects to a man (and woman) are portrayed in such a negative fashion that they begin to seem two-dimensional. There are, it is true, attempts to nuance their personalities later in the book, but by then most readers will be unwilling to feel much compassion for them. Still, that aside, it's a corking good tale with some seriously dangerous moments and, to offset them, some very funny ones, so on balance it is a book which can cheerfully be recommended.
Jack and his sort-of-siblings have already had one thrilling adventure, way down in Antarctica Jack and the Geniuses 1: At the Bottom of the World which is well worth reading. Not only do you get all the background about how the three young people are able to live independently of adults (it has a lot to do with a bunch of really cheesy poems) but it's a good story in its own right, and it's teeming with scientific facts about living in an environment which seems determined to freeze you to death. And if, after that, you fancy more tales of likeable and extremely clever young people solving mysteries, try Alice Jones: The Impossible Clue by Sarah Rubin and the sequel The Ghost Light.
You can read more book reviews or buy Jack and the Geniuses 2: In the Deep Blue Sea by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Jack and the Geniuses 2: In the Deep Blue Sea by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone at Amazon.com.
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