Review Blog

Apr 11 2017

William Wenton and the luridium thief by Bobbie Peers

cover image

William Wenton bk 1. Walker, 2017. ISBN 9781406371703
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. Norwegian film director Bobbie Peers' debut children's novel is a written like a cinematic thriller packed with action, intrigue and drama. His creative attention to detail is outstanding, with the purpose built bots supporting the cybernetic world filled with advanced technology.
The story begins with a grandfather's disappearance, resulting in a family fleeing to hide in a small town in Norway. A secret ingredient called luridium holds the key and there are sinister forces that will stop at nothing to find it.
Eight years ago, William's grandfather, a world-famous cryptographer and inventor, disappeared into a tunnel deep in the London Underground taking a secret with him. Now William and his parents live a secret life afraid to be discovered. William hides out in his bedroom honing his code-breaking skills, researching famous cryptographers and creating puzzles, continuing his grandfather's legacy. When the Impossible Machine arrives at the local museum, he disobeys his parent's instructions and slips away to solve the encrypted puzzle. Of course, this is a trap and after his achievement is publicised, he is kidnapped and taken to the mysterious Institute for Post-Human Research. Here young candidates undergo testing for their supreme scientific and technological abilities. What an amazing and unusual environment filled with cybernetic bots, robotic plants, even a Cosmotorium. William befriends another candidate Iscia and together they investigate his grandfather's disappearance, the reasons why he left and the mysteries of the intelligent metal.
William Wenton and the luridium thief is a journey into an incredible new world where technology and science are celebrated. This novel received the Norwegian Ark Children's Book Award in 2015. Peer's imaginative and intense cybernetic world add excitement and danger to William's dangerous quest for the truth, and this would make an exciting class novel for Upper Primary students.
Rhyllis Bignell

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