Ironheart by Allan Boroughs
|Ironheart by Allan Boroughs
|Category: Confident Readers
|Reviewer: Robert James
|Summary: Enjoyable old-style adventure with a great heroine and brilliant plotting and pacing will appeal to children of all ages (including the young at heart!)
|Date: January 2014
|Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
|External links: Author's website
India Bentley's father went missing looking for oil in Siberia. Except it wasn't just oil he was searching for - rather, he was trying to find the lost fortress of Ironheart, whose old-world secrets could save humanity - or destroy the world. When she meets tech-hunter Verity Brown and her android bodyguard Calculus, India manages to become involved in a daring adventure with some seriously unsavoury characters. Can she save her father, and the world?
I think this is a well-written debut with some real strengths. It's clear that Boroughs is a brilliant plotter, he's created an exciting story here which is very well-paced and kept me guessing all the way through. The world-building is also superb and it's interesting to see the way that Boroughs creates a nightmarish but convincing vision of a post-apocalyptic world - both the harsh reality of life where India grew up and the even harsher struggle faced in Siberia.
The characters aren't quite up there with the best of this kind of book for me, at least until the end. The exception is India, the heroine, who is smart, resourceful, brave and loyal - a wonderful creation. I really liked her relationship with android Calculus. The other characters don't seem to be quite as well-rounded for much of the book, although villain Sid and tech-hunter Verity both get some really interesting character development towards the end.
While this seems to be being pushed more towards the tweens and younger teens age range there's enough action and excitement here to appeal to a wide variety of ages. In particular, adults who remember classic Boys Own adventure stories are likely to find it an enjoyable read, as well.
A strong debut from Boroughs and I'll certainly be on board for 2015's sequel, The Sun Machine!
You can read more book reviews or buy Ironheart by Allan Boroughs at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Ironheart by Allan Boroughs at Amazon.com.
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