by M.G. Leonard;
An Adventure Book Review by Erin the Cat Princess©
|Erin, addicted to Mystery Adventure and Mice!|
Hello, and welcome to my Saturday Book Review!
Readers will be pleased to note that after several weeks of farmer Clarksin's sheep cleaning everything in the village — including several pensioners who were too slow to move out the way of Mrs Singh's mobile window cleaning service — the soapy sudds have finally subsided.
As the village is looking the cleanest it has ever been in living memory, the Parish Council has voted to hire the sheep in the days leading up to East Lambtonshire County Council's Best kept and cleanest village (and pensioner) award.
I'm pretty sure we'll make a clean sweep at the awards ceremony!
OK, OK, I think in light of all the groans I'm hearing from Mrs H at my attempt at a joke, it is time to hurridly move on to this week's review!
We are delighted to bring you the concluding book in the Beetle Boy series of adventures: Battle of the Beetles.
If you want to read these books, please give this review a miss until you have read books 1 & 2. It would be impossible to review book 3 without giving away some KEY parts of the previous separate adventures and their finales.
To see my reviews of the first two adventures, follow the links below.
So, on that understanding, and as you are clearly all still here, let's get on with the review!
BATTLE OF THE BEETLES, by M.G. Leonard
Published by Chicken House Publishing.
Illustrations by Júlia Sardà
A quick recap:
What we discovered in book 2. Lucretia Cutter is seemingly intent on world domination. Having altered her gene sequence, so she is now part beetle, part human, she sets about revealing her plot at the Oscar award ceremony. Using her vast wealth and fashion empire, she has prepared gowns for the actresses nominated for the Best Actress Award, including her own cloned daughter, Novak.
As the awards are screened globally, she used them to reveal her ultimatum to the world and its leaders. The actresses gowns are made to incorporate thousands of beetles. At her command, they fly free and attack all the guests.
She has released and readied across the globe thousands more of her genetically modified beetles. Their task will be to decimate the crops and force countries to accept her will or die of starvation or in the wars she knows will follow.
Our heroes, Darkus, Virginia, Bertolt and their good beetles, help save the day at the Oscars. Darkus's father, Dr Cuttle, flees the scene with Lucretia and her henchmen and ninja-like bodyguard. Novak is forced to go too and faces a very uncertain future. As of course, so does the world!
Book 3 takes over a few days after our team have arrived home to the UK from America. Lucretia has escaped to her secret jungle biome laboratories, confident she cant be found and can weather anything the nations of the world throw at her and it. She is determined to proceed with her experiments to change herself entirely into a beetle. Before she does so, she is to test the final pupation stage on Novak.
Her goal, the goal she feels is hers to command and arrange, is to save the planet and the creatures on it. As for humans, well, they don't really figure in it. Unless it's to help Lucretia. After all, they are the cause of the planet's woes and the destruction of many of its species.
Darkus and the team take the offensive and mobilise to rescue Dr Cuttle, Novak and the biome beetles. Saving the world, too, if they can manage to find a way to stop genetically changed creatures and find their hideouts.
Now, if things weren't set to get dangerous enough, Humphrey and Pickering have managed to hide in Lucretia's helicopter and find themselves in the thick of a very unfriendly jungle. Things don't get much better for our two hapless nasty, yet amusing villains when they manage to get inside the biome.
As all the parties converge on the jungle hideaway, things do get really tense. Monsters await, as does a crazed and jealous scientist and an unwilling accomplice far from home. The final action-packed showdown becomes a race against the clock. Not all will come out alive; some will be forever changed – for better or worse remains to be seen.
So, what did we think?
Mrs H both sat on the sofa and leaned in closer as we turned the final pages. We were not at all disappointed with the action-packed end scene. It all fitted in together rather nicely.
I may have been necessarily brief with my summary above, but a lot goes on in a short space of time. I loved the books penultimate chapter. For me, that was really fun and sort of an unexpected happy conclusion.
Mrs H is always one for neatness and said the final chapter was what most humans will go for.
We agreed that there were some brilliant moral points made, and the arguments between characters were really well crafted. Mrs H says that's called cogent. I found myself at one point, seeing Lucretia's point. But on seeing the other arguments came round pretty quickly to the truth. MG Leonard does this really well. The book is also really well researched and geared to educate as well as entertain.
Is this another must-read? Yes. Undoubtedly it is.
It is also a worthy and wholly satisfying conclusion to the adventures. I suspect there is no call for another book in the series. But if there was, I, for one, would undoubtedly go out and buy it. But with so many other good books by this author, I will have Mrs H's time fully allocated for the next couple of years so we can catch up and do the reviews!
At the time of writing this review, MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman, co-authors of the "Adventures on Trains" series of mystery adventures, were travelling around the arctic, plotting and researching for their next great adventure on trains. If you like trains and mystery adventures, this series is also a must-read for ages 8 and upwards.
Want to buy a copy?
If you'd like a copy of BATTLE of the BEETLES to add some eco-friendly adventure into your life, then please do support your local bookshop. Like the beetles in this story and in real life, there is a whole ecosystem of small stores that help balance things out and who need our help.
The Beetle Boy trilogy (Beetle Boy, Beetle Queen, and Battle of the Beetles) is published by Chicken House. A link to their website can be found HERE.
M.G. Leonards website link can be found HERE.
Until next week, we wish you peaceful and united week!