'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 14 February 2011

Review: John Fastramp and the Dakota 3000 Challenge

I'm eight years-old, in front of the TV cross-legged watching my Saturday morning cartoons, cereal precariously balanced on my lap... okay... so no I'm not, but that's exactly how I felt when I was reading this book!

Remember that feeling?

John Fastramp is a brilliant race car driver with an even more brilliant car, the Blue Spider. It is a sleek, low racer that gives the impression that it's moving even as the car is standing still. Only a handful of people know of the wonderful inventions that fill the Blue Spider, like lasers, special tyres and protective armour! Put it this way, Inspector Gadget would be mighty impressed!

John receives a telegram inviting him to drive in the Dakota 3000 Challenge, an offer extended to only the top racing car drivers of the world, but it seems something sinister is going on. Someone does not want him at the race. He receives a threatening letter and the brake lines to the Blue Spider are cut... but do you think that stops him?

The race itself is out of this world! John and his friends are up against forces they never expected! A flying saucer, a huge bright silver scorpion with massive pincer claws and leafless trees that can uproot themselves and run faster than man! Are they up to the challenge?

This book would be great to read at night to your child or as an early reader. The short chapters and bold clean text are perfect to help build confidence in reading. It's the Wacky Races meets James Bond meets Inspector Gadget. A pacy, exciting read.

Look out for the next book in the series, John Fastramp and the Mystery of the Ghost Speedway early this year... and have your cereal ready!

Title: John Fastramp and the Dakota 3000 Challenge
Author: Jason Alter
Publisher: Self-published through BookSurge, US$10.99 
Publication Date: 11 June 2007
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781419665639
For ages: 8 - 12
Type: Junior Fiction