William Wenton and the Luridium Thief by Bobbie Peers

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William Wenton and the Luridium Thief by Bobbie Peers

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor
Summary: A cleverly-conceived tale of a boy with a stunning ability to crack any code or cypher he faces, and the mysterious villain who has pursued him across the world.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: April 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
ISBN: 9781406371703

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Bobbie Peers is a pretty talented guy. Not only did he win a Palme d'Or award for a film he wrote and directed in 2006, but with this, his first book, he's turned his hand to writing for young people. And the list of awards he's collecting in his native Norway are testament to his vivid and entertaining imagination.

Many people suspect that some unspecified They (the government, a mysterious cabal of billionaire businessmen or maybe a gang of villains with long-term plans for world domination?) own private compounds in out of the way locations where they set scientists, code-breakers and inventors to work, to either prevent or, in some cases cause, various disasters. Unlimited finance and materials and the chance to explore any and all ideas, however daft or impractical they seem, could well save the world from total extinction one day – if it doesn't cause it first.

As the book opens William has no idea why he and his family had to flee England eight years before, change their name and live quietly in Norway. First and foremost rule: never, ever draw attention to yourself. And that's why he has to keep secret from his anxious parents the fact that he spends his free time inventing things and solving puzzles. He can't help it: it's like it's part of his DNA, something he can't resist. And then disaster happens – he accidentally (yes, really) solves the Impossible Puzzle while on a school visit to the museum and once again the family is forced to go on the run. Except that William is spirited away alone, at the last second, to just one of those special compounds.

In lots of ways the story resembles many others: a group of young people in a school-but-not-as-you-know-it setting, the newcomer who without meaning to reveals his brilliance and makes enemies among his fellow students, and a dastardly villain determined to destroy our hero for reasons which only gradually become clear - not to mention the trusty sidekick and the adults who may or may not be on the hero's side. What is unusual – and a lot of fun – is the role of technology in the adventure. Robots who answer back, play games to amuse themselves when they're off-duty and, in a couple of edge-of-your-seat scenes, try to eat you. R2D2 they ain't!

Since the arrival of the very excellent Miss Hermione Granger, smart kids have been fashionable in books for young people. If you're brainy yourself, or need hints on how to handle friends who are, try Jack and the Geniuses 1: At the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone about a boy whose courage and common sense are needed to rescue his mega-boffin siblings from the dangers their little grey cells get them into. And for more super-clever antics with a heroine who doesn't let her intelligence stop her having friends and enjoying herself, read Alice Jones: The Impossible Clue by Sarah Rubin and its sequel, Alice Jones: The Ghost Light.

Buy William Wenton and the Luridium Thief by Bobbie Peers at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy William Wenton and the Luridium Thief by Bobbie Peers at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy William Wenton and the Luridium Thief by Bobbie Peers at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy William Wenton and the Luridium Thief by Bobbie Peers at Amazon.com.


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