Thursday, January 18, 2024

War of the Wind

On a remote Scottish island, fourteen-year-old Max’s life changes forever when he loses his hearing in a boating accident. Struggling to make sense of his new life and finding it hard to adapt in school, he begins to notice other — even stranger — changes taking place when a new wind farm appears off the island’s coast.

With the help of three school friends with additional support needs, Max discovers that a sinister scientist, Doctor Ashwood, is using wind turbines to experiment on the islanders. They must find a way to shut down the government’s secret test before it spins out of control…

Book source~ TWR Tour
War of the Wind
Victoria Williamson
MG/YA - Ages 9 - 14
Eco Mystery
23 September 2022
239 Pages

My Rating ~ 4 bites and a nibble

Max is 14 and lives on a Scottish island with little to no outside contact with the world at large. Meaning, no internet. *gasp* In addition, a boating accident has left Max deaf and he’s not adjusting well. When an energy company comes along and offers to build wind turbines just off shore to produce energy and bring the internet including smartphones for all citizens as well (hallelujah!), Max is finally thrilled about something since the accident. Except, things aren’t what they seem, and now Max and his friends are fighting for more than access to cat videos and unlimited dank memes. They’re fighting for the lives of everyone on the island.

I’m at the age (55) where I’ve had access to the internet longer than I didn’t. I began surfing the net, as we old farts called it, in 1994. I cannot imagine not having it now. It is so entwined in my life it would be incredibly difficult to free myself from it. Assuming I wanted to. I don’t. Duh. lol So the fact that there are still actual places in the world that don’t have access to the world wide web still boggles my mind.

Anyway, on to the book. What a great read! Max’s struggle and anger feel very real. Despite the fact I wanted to smack him upside the head for his treatment of people, I do understand how he wallowed in his misery. I can imagine most adults doing the same, so I cut him some slack. Just a bit though. Fortunately, he’s a good kid at the center so he grows and learns throughout the book. And he has some great friends that he didn’t even realize were friends because of the wallowing. The wind farm is a hot topic right now with the need to do something about fossil fuels, so it’s a timely subject and the scientist tied to it adds a flare that will have you shaking your fists in anger. Great writing, awesome characters, and a touchy subject turned on its ear = a book you really shouldn’t miss.

Victoria Williamson is an award-winning author who grew up in Scotland surrounded by hills, books, and an historical farm estate which inspired many of her early adventure stories and spooky tales. After studying Physics at the University of Glasgow, she set out on her own real-life adventures, which included teaching maths and science in Cameroon, training teachers in Malawi, teaching English in China and working with children with additional support needs in the UK. Victoria currently works part time writing KS2 books for the education company Twinkl and spends the rest of her time writing novels, and visiting schools, libraries and literary festivals to give author talks and run creative writing workshops.

Victoria’s previous novels include The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle, The Boy with the Butterfly Mind, Hag Storm, and War of the Wind. She has won the Bolton Children’s Fiction Award 2020/2021, The YA-aldi Glasgow Secondary School Libraries Book Award 2023, and has been shortlisted for the Week Junior Book Awards 2023, The Leeds Book Awards 2023, the Red Book Award 2023, the James Reckitt Hull Book Awards 2021, The Trinity School Book Awards 2021, and longlisted for the ABA South Coast Book Awards 2023, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2020, and the Branford Boase Award 2019.

Her latest novel, The Pawnshop of Stolen Dreams, is a middle grade fantasy inspired by classic folklore. Twenty percent of the author royalties for this book are donated to CharChar Literacy, an organisation working to improve children’s literacy levels in Malawi.

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