Reviewed by Dale Harcombe
No doubt those who have been following the Billionaires series have been eagerly awaiting the newest adventure, The Crystal Code (Billionaire Series). Readers will not be disappointed. It has all the action, humour twists and turns of the other novels.
Gerald Wilkins, the world’s youngest billionaire, is all set for a great snowboarding holiday with his friends. But as we would expect, that is not quite what happens, when evil enters the scene in the guise of Sir Mason Green who has escaped from prison.
In this novel Newsome has introduced some new characters including Felicity, Gerald’s new girlfriend and a situation that does not sit well with Ruby. And then there is Tycho Brahe, how does he fit into the picture?
It seems wherever Gerald goes danger follows. This is good, escapist fun and adventure with a snowmobile chase, fights, kidnapping, secrecy, an empty grave and a mystery as well as inventive ways Gerald and his friends have of getting out of scrapes. Unbelievable at times, yes, almost like a James Bond for pre teens, but that’s half the fun.
It has humour that is just off centre enough to appeal to children as well as a few pearls of wisdom thrown into the mix. Fans of the series will lap it up and those who haven’t read the earlier books will no doubt want to g back and read the rest. Good fun that could equally be enjoyed by anyone young at heart.
The Crystal Code
Book 4 of the Billionaire Series
By Richard Newsome
Text Publishing, 2012
Reviewed by Dale Harcombe
In 2008 The Billionaire’s Curse was the winner of the Inaugural text prize for children’s and young adult fiction. It’s easy to see why. It is very readable with a plot that I’m sure would appeal to most young people.
What would you do if your suddenly became a billionaire? When his great aunt dies and leaves all her wealth to 13 year old Gerald, she also leaves a letter asking him to find whoever it was who murdered her. Now that he is her heir, Gerald’s life is also in danger. But he is not alone thanks to the new friends meets at the museum.
Together Gerald, Sam and Ruby set out to try and discover who stole the world’s most valuable diamond, as well as who murdered Gerald’s great aunt and is now seeking to get rid of him. The trouble for Gerald is to know who he can trust, especially among the adults.
This is a story with plenty of action, drama and suspense the humour and characters like Constable Lethbridge who scratches his bottom with a plastic fork, will have children laughing as they turn the pages.
The second book in this trilogy The Emerald Casket has already been published. It takes Gerald Sam and Ruby on holiday to India. There they have to save another friend Alisha, from a deadly cult. As well they hope to find the emerald casket. But of course there are those like Sir Mason Green who stand in their way.
Each of the books is very readable and action packed. Children from 8-12 years old will lap them up.
The Billionaire’s Curse
The Emerald Casket
By Richard Newsome
The Text Publishing Company
Paperback RRP $19.95
Alisha was chatting to a storekeeper and stuffing something she’d bought into her bag. She lifted her head and turned towards Gerald. A broad smile burst across her face and she waved.
Gerald grinned back. He could understand Sam’s infatuation.
Then a figure clothed entirely in black emerged from the sea of people. In a second, Alisha was grabbed by the upper arm. There was a brief struggle. Then she disappeared.
Gerald is only just getting used to being a billionaire, having inherited his aunt Geraldine’s fortunes, when he and his friends Ruby and Sam are invited to holiday in India with Alisha Gupta. But they haven’t been there long when it seems adventure is determined to follow them. Gerald and his friends are followed and repeatedly attacked by the members of a cult who want to kidnap Alisha. Gerald is horrified when he realises there is a connection between this cult and his own family. But nothing is more horrific than when his old foe Sir Mason Green reappears. Will he survive to enjoy his newfound wealth?
The Emerald Casket is the second title in the Billionaire trilogy and sees Gerald and his friends in a desperate race to find the Emerald Casket – the second of three such caskets before Sir Mason Green. There are lots of twists and turns in an entertaining blend of adventure and humour. Readers who have not read the first instalment will find enough information to pick up the story, though would enjoy it best sequentially.
The Emerald Casket , by Richard Newsome
Text Publishing, 2010
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