Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Title: The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game
Authors: Jon Claydon and Tim Lawler
Illustrators: Kanako and Yururu
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Published: March 8th, 2018
Genre: MG Adventure
Target Age Group: 9 – 12 years
Anyone who is interested in cars and enjoys the mystery of The Stig on Top Gear is likely to love this book. It is a fun, mystery with hilarious character and OTT escapades that will appeal to a wide range of readers. Get ready for lots of plays on words, people with names relating to cars and references to Top Gear throughout the story, especially to the theme tune. There’s also a megalomaniac dillionaire computer genius called PT Cruiser who is out to rule the world via his highly addictive electronic video game, Xenon, and determined to capture and do something with his arch enemy, the enigmatic and mysterious Stig – though he doesn’t seem quite certain what he wants to do to him other than capture him!
The initial hero is Sam Wheeler, someone who has recently moved to the town of Bunsfold and who’s parents are, like most of the town’s population, already addicted to Xenon. Everyone in the town seems to be playing Xenon – even teachers in school encourage the pupils to do so! The school seems to be ruled by a the daughter of PT Cruiser and her sycophants who include members of staff and most pupils. Sam makes friends with Minnie Cooper and Ford Harrison and so the adventure to thwart the plans of PT Cruiser begins!
This is a hilarious read with appropriate over the top humour that will appeal to the target age group and older readers. It has short chapters which have a hint to their content as part of their heading. There are also a range of black and white illustrations at key points in the story, adding to the appeal of the book. I suspect it will initially particularly attract boys to read it but there are great female characters (and even a heroic dog) so the story could also be of interest to all genders. The pace is initially somewhat slow but only for a little while and it does speed up significantly. especially as there’s a dramatic race or two during the story. The ending gives hints at subsequent stories in the series and more adventures for the Top Gear Gang – I hope I get to read them!
I requested and received a paperback copy of this book without obligation. I chose to read and review it and this is my honest opinion after reading the book.
The first in a fast-paced, funny series featuring The Stig: Top Gear’s legendary racing driver
Sam Wheeler may be the new boy in Bunsfold, but he’s got a feeling that all is not well either in the town or at Bunsfold High – and he’s not just talking about the maths teacher with the unfortunate flatulence. A local boy, Buster Mustang, has recently gone missing, and no one seems to care – they’re all too busy playing the highly addictive video game Xenon or getting the town ready for its very first TT race. Both are the brainchild of mysterious local billionaire PT Cruiser. Besides global domination, PT Cruiser wants nothing more than to destroy his nemesis The Stig once and for all – and his TT race is just what he needs to tempt him on to the big stage again …
Sam sets out with his new friends Minnie Cooper and Ford Harrison to uncover the truth behind all the strange goings-on in Bunsfold – but danger has a habit of showing up wherever they do, and soon all that stands between our heroes and disaster is … a taciturn man in a white suit.
Jon wrote sell-out shows at Edinburgh while at university before plumping for a career in advertising and technology investment that has seen him become a fixture on the Sunday Times ‘Britain’s 500 Most Influential People’ list. One day, while attending to one of many sidelines – as a columnist for Top Gear magazine – Jon had a moment. Alone in a lift, he met The Stig, who non-verbally communicated that it was high time someone wrote a book for his many younger fans. Jon called Tim, they fired up their flux capacitor and returned, sliding-doors-style, to the career they’d always thought they should have had in the first place.
Tim Lawler wrote sell-out Edinburgh shows at university before spending many years in ventures such as building and filling a fringe theatre, performing stand-up poetry, living in various parts of the globe and working as an advertising brand planner.
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