Michael Adams, Skyfire (The Seven Signs #1), Scholastic Australia, July 2015, 192pp., $7.99 (pbk) ISBN 9781743628010
Seven talented and driven teenagers from around the world have been selected by trillionaire Internet King Felix Scott to form an elite group of young people committed to help make a difference in the world. They meet at the ceremony announcing their selection, then their lives are bound together on a quest as they come to realise that each of them has been sent part of a code that predicts an unknown disaster.
Set in the not-too-distant future, the technology is futuristic yet mostly recognisable – from modern day iphones to holographic computers and videos and ultra-sonic transport (still the domain of a relatively rich minority). The action is set over different continents and each chapter has the third person narration following the characters in one part of the world. The strong male and female characters are well drawn and nicely sketched in the opening chapter. Adams uses description sparingly but well.
This first instalment starts smoothly as the story is being set up, and then it’s all systems go – action and adventure centring firstly around what seems like a local bullying and extortion scheme in LA then moving to attempted abduction and bomb blasts in Egypt.
Skyfire is well executed (especially the chase scenes) and well paced, containing engaging characters and an interesting plot. Kids who loved The Last Thirteen (from the same publisher) will be hooked.
As is expected from a serialised story over 10 instalments, the story is by no means resolved by the cliff-hanger ending – it’s only just beginning! The seven instalments will be released every couple of months throughout the year. This series will make compelling reading for action/adventure fans around 10 years of age and up.
Reviewed by Debra Tidball