An adventure for readers aged 199 – 9, stuffed with magic, mystery, derring-do and generally ill-advised behaviour. (And robots.)
Racing from London to Paris to the heart of Prague, it’s a mystery set in the present-day world – but a world the bewildered hero, a 12-year old boy called Alex, finds increasingly invaded by the fantastic and the macabre.
When Alex’s globe-trotting grandfather sends him an old toy robot to add to his collection just before Christmas, it doesn’t seem anything unusual. But when the old man arrives unexpectedly just in time to save him from an attack by sinister little robots he’s never seen before, Alex begins to realise there’s something different, possibly deadly about his latest acquisition. Fleeing across a snowy Europe, Alex and his grandfather are pursued by assassins both human and mechanical. What is it about the old toy that makes them targets for murder..?
I can’t remember the last book I read that had pictures in it. After reading this book, it kind of made me long for the days of picture books. I was prepared to write this book off as just a children’s book, but I was thoroughly impressed by it. Not only did it have action, adventure and a mystery, I was surprised by the amount of myth it included. It also included a great mix of family dynamics thrown into the mix.
Alex seems a lot older than his twelve years, but in the best possible way. He’s intelligent and capable of thinking quickly. He’s resilient, strong and can adapt easily. Even though his grandfather is enigmatic and holds a lot back from his grandson, Alex seems to figure it out anyway. It was also really interesting to see Prague and Paris through Alex’s eyes. The plot moves at a great pace and it completely captivated me. I never found myself thinking the book was too juvenile, and perhaps that’s because this book is more than just a novel about robots. I highly recommend this book for all ages.