This exciting new series introduces readers to a new family of adventurous children. Ava, Matt and Jack are foster siblings and have been through a lot together. They are also complete geniuses. Well, Matt and Ava are, Jack is just ordinary, and his longsuffering voice narrates the novel.
Jack does not enjoy the constant belittling and patronisation that he suffers at the hands of his gifted brother and sister, but it will be difficult for readers to muster up the sympathy he clearly craves, as there are some major advantages to Jack’s situation; an all-expenses trip to Antarctica for a science convention, for example, and a house robot who constantly makes pizza.
Jack, Ava and Matt are taken to the South Pole by the famous genius, Hank Witherspoon, who has clearly identified potential in the minds of Ava and Matt. They share the research station with a host of similarly impressive scientists, including inventors, explorers and even karaoke experts! These brilliant brains soon become a list of suspects when a reckless biologist goes missing somewhere out on the ice. The rest of the story plays out as a mystery, and it’s up to Jack and his genius siblings to find the culprits – which isn’t easy as every suspect is a total mastermind!
Though there is plenty of intrigue to maintain readers’ interest, this debut novel doesn’t quite deliver the level of action or energy suggested by the action-filled cover illustration. Nor is it quite geeky enough for fans of science for whom it is clearly marketed. There are lots of fun gadgets and gizmos to spark the interest of young engineers, but Matt and Ava are afforded little room to really celebrate their enormous mathematical and scientific intellects.
Jack and his geniuses are clearly up for solving plenty of new mysteries in the future, and with Jack’s tendency to get into trouble, they’re bound to find themselves embroiled in a new adventure before long. Readers of this first episode will hope that the young protagonists are allowed to show-off a little more in the next instalment.