Review: Brightstorm

Published on 1st March 2018
Published by Scholastic
Cover Illustration by George Ermos

Brightstorm is an incredible action-packed and heart-warming adventure which felt like an ode to the golden age of exploration.  It completely captured me and took me on a thrilling race across the continents with an amazing crew.

Twelve-year-old twins Arthur and Maudie Brightstorm are heartbroken when they discover that they have lost their father in an ill-fated expedition to South Polaris.  Their fortunes take a drastic turn for the worse which sees them living in the Slumps, the poorest district in Lontown, at the mercy of two cruel owners.  However, the children are not prepared to accept their fate and are determined to clear their father’s name after he has been discredited by another explorer, Eudora Vane who has accused him of breaking the Explorers’ Code.

The children soon find themselves as new crew members aboard The Aurora, the incredible sky-ship of Harriet Culpepper as another race to South Polaris begins … and their main rival is Eudora Vane!  And what a race it is!  This story is overflowing with heart-racing action, danger, twists, revelations and discoveries.  The story-telling is superb and kept me utterly engrossed as I raced towards South Polaris with the crew of The Aurora, rooting for them as they faced adversity from a powerful and heartless rival and celebrating with them when they found new friends in the entrancing thought-wolves.

Arthur and Maudie embody so many wonderful qualities.  They have an unbreakable bond which sees them gain strength from each other in difficult situations.  They are courageous, resilient, loyal and determined to restore their family name in the face of great peril.  Maudie is a talented engineer who is keen to further her studies whilst her brother is a booklover with a penchant for history who is sensitive and perceptive.  The crew of The Aurora form a wonderfully supportive family unit around the twins, from the clever, kind-hearted Harriet Culpepper to the gregarious, fiercely protective Felicity Wiggety who has a sixth sense for danger!

This is a perfect adventure story for children of 8+ which opens some wonderful opportunities for discussion around overturning stereotypes; STEM careers; appreciating and protecting the environment; and, the age of exploration as well as discourse around themes of loss, friendship, family, class and prejudice.

I was lucky enough to be sent this book by the publishers on behalf of a Review Site in exchange for my honest opinion.

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