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Eccentric billionaire Warren 'Wheelie' Wheelnut has decided to mount the biggest, maddest, most off-the-scale competition ever.
He has created five extreme race tracks: from the desert to a haunted town, outer space, underwater and dense jungle, it's not chicanes and hairpin turns the drivers need to be worried about, it's aliens and giant squid.
I'd been wanting a copy of this book ever since it first came out - my son (age 7) loves cars and racing so it sounded like the type of book that he would really enjoy.
This is the first book in the Wheelnuts series and our contestants find themselves taking on the desert track where they encounter mirages, quicksand and giant skulls, which certainly makes for an interesting race.
I was a bit disappointed to be honest. I found the writing style hard to read and felt that it didn't flow very well. I also felt the obligatory bad guy was a bit half hearted and unecessary - he didn't really add anything to the story and I felt he could've tried harder to stop the race. However, it does make up for any shortcomings with crazy characters and vehicles that appealed to my son's silly side and had him giggling away. There was plenty of action and excitement to keep him entertained and even though I found it hard going at times, he still seemed to enjoy it - the glossy pages and bold illustrations really helped to liven up the story.
It was a lot wordier than I was expecting with decent length chapters so I would probably recommend this book for ages 8+.
This is a new series I had not heard of before receiving the review copy although I have heard of Knife and Packer before from their Freak Street collection of books of which we have read all of and thoroughly enjoyed so knew this series would probably have a lot to offer. We really enjoyed this book and it will be cool to see what other crazy races and racers we meet in subsequent books Knife and Packer definitely have created another set of unique and crazy characters and adventures.
In Wheelnuts we meet very different characters and their vehicles who take part in races. From fairies that use fairy dust to make their car faster and singing sensations who use their voice to sneak past their competitors and dinosaurs who use volcanic powers there really is an eclectic mix of pure craziness but it is truly entertaining. I think this is a series young boy readers (and girls) could really grit their teeth into.
From my opinion the books would suit readers 8 and up as although they are not hard reading there are a lot of words and the book is in chapter format so would take a reader who could handle the longer format of reading. For me the book took little over twenty minutes so it is quite light reading for the able reader. The great thing about these books is the pages are accompanied by lots of cool illustrations that create more interest and bring the story to life.
For the first book in the series it gives you hints of things you will probably see in future episodes with an enemy getting up to mischief and trying to sabotage the races coming through straight away whom I am sure will throw many obstacles in the path to try and sabotage his brothers races (this episode we see robotic scorpions). This is going to add quite a good twist with readers waiting to see what he is up to next.
All in all this series looks as though it could turn out to be something quite unique like the Freak Street books, definitely a fun and humorous read so I give it a solid 10 for giving me a laugh.
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