Sunday, 2 September 2018

Drone Racer - Andy Briggs


Carson and his friends love racing drones, and they can't believe their luck when they stumble across a discarded one at a junkyard. But this new find is full of surprises. 

When they power the drone up, it starts talking! And it's fast. Really fast. They could win big prizes in the racing leagues. Trouble is, someone wants their incredible drone back, and they'll stop at nothing to get it. 

How can three kids protect their new friend?

I'm a huge fan of Andy Briggs and his MG books. I've previously read his Inventory series which, unsurprisingly, features some pretty amazing technology. It's also no surprise that Andy has turned his writing towards drone racing as it's gaining in popularity, and fast!

Carson and his friends, Trix and Eddie, are known as the Carsonators and are amongst the youngest drone racers in their local league. When their current drone gets smashed up by a fellow competitor it would seem it's all over for them. A trip to the local scrap yard changes all that, when Carson makes an amazing discovery, thanks to a savage dog and a fall into a pile of scrap. What follows is a high adrenaline, blood pumping adventure for the three 12-year-olds as they race their new drone, start winning some races, and make some startling discoveries!

As with all his books, Drone Racer's central theme is about friendship. Carson, Trix (aka Tracy) and Eddie - don't ever call him Edward - are best friends with a shared love of drone racing. Carson is the pilot, Trix is the engineer and Eddie is the tech advisor, look-out and anything else that might need doing type. Together they work as a team to win races, earn some money, discover just who is breaking into competitor's houses, and start to notice that there seems to be an awful lot of security around for a local drone racing league.

Carson is not only drone racing though. He is also dealing with the death of his mother, and his fractured relationship with his father. Like most children, he naively assumes that his father is pulling away because he blames Carson in some way. Naturally, this is not the case, and Andy deals extremely sensitively with the issues of grief and trying to move on after losing a parent.

With some wonderful friendships and furious fast-paced writing, Drone Racer is a great MG adventure with action spanning two continents, a blackmailing but bewildered older sister and some seriously death-defying stunts. It's easy to picture the action that takes place thanks to Andy's screenwriting experience, and I think Drone Racer would make an amazing children's movie or even a television series. It's a page-turner that you'll be hard-pushed to put down unless you're forced to and although it's not completely obvious from the ending whether there are more adventures for the Carsonators to come I would definitely read more adventures in drone racing.



Drone Racer - Andy Briggs

ISBN - 9781407188429
Publisher - Scholastic
Release date - September 6th, 2018



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