Sabotage on the Solar Express by MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman

Sabotage on the Solar Express by M.G. Leonard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have such respect for this wild and well-told adventure series and so I was thrilled when the publishers sent me a copy of Sabotage on the Solar Express to review. Adventure stories are hard to plot, mystery adventure stories are even harder, and when you whack it all on a train, you do not give yourself an easy ride (pun unintentional!). Nevertheless Leonard and Sedgman deliver, every time, and I have such admiration for how they do it.

Sabotage on the Solar Express is set in Australia and concerns a train driven by hydrogen and solar power, an invention from the mind of a brilliant child genius. But not everybody is happy with this and, as the journey unfolds, so does the sabotage. Accompanied by Elisa Paganelli’s delicious artwork, so precise and clean with detail, Sabotage on the Solar Express rolls on with utter aplomb.

What I like about Leonard and Sedgman’s approach is how they give you something quite classic and proven in terms of structure and make it work in a contemporary and modern setting. We know how adventure stories work – we recognise the patterns and structures of them and we look for them in our reading. What’s fun is when somebody says “look, we know what you’re thinking about here and we’ll give you that but not quite in the way that you expect”. Leonard and Sedgman do that with such delicious style here, be that in the chapter titles which reference action movies or in the neat subversions of expectations throughout. I love a book that makes me flip back to the start to check the details (I never pick up on anything, it’s a gift) and I love it even more when a book makes me stop everything I’m doing so I can see how it ends. It’s the best, I love this series.

My thanks to the publisher for a review copy.

View all my reviews

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