I enjoyed this action packed novel for middle grade readers and I'm an septuagenarian. Jazz is a good heroine. She and her grandpa played games. Then he drifted into the dark hole of Alzheimer's and she finds her life is in danger. The training she received from her grandpa might very well be the difference between life and death for her and her friends.
Giles has included several interesting themes in this novel. One is Jazz's love for her grandfather. How should he be helped in the best way possible? Another theme is middle grade relationships. Jazz is taken in by a story of hidden diamonds made up by a teasing fellow. She has a best friend in quirky Blossom, a good sidekick to adventures. And when the two are sent off to summer camp, they befriend Davy, a genius. The loyalty of Jazz's friends is tested when a sinister man attacks.
The plot is fun. The first half of the book is a little slow as it is more of a set up for the exciting second half. Readers will find out about Jazz, her parents and her dear grandpa as the stage is set. The second half of the book is nonstop action that will grab young readers. I especially liked Davy's innovation and tech expertise. Potential readers should know there is some violence and a dead body or two included.
This is an entertaining novel for middle grade readers with excitement and lessons on relationships. It is the first in a series and I will definitely be looking for the sequel.
You can find out more about this book and the ones to follow here.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
C L Giles is a retired middle school teacher. Her first full length novel, A Reason to Forget: Training Games, begins the Firestorm series. It was nominated for the Dixie Lee Connor Award for Exceptional Children's Writing. She loves reading and writing about characters who are everyday heroes. She lives in Clarksville, Tennessee. You can find out more at https://clgiles.com/.
Top Branch Publishing, 262 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Book Sirens. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)