Title: William Wenton series
Written by: Bobbie Peers
Published by: Walker Books
The William Wenton series are fast-paced, thrilling fantasy adventures about twelve-year-old codebreaking genius. In book one, William Wenton was nearly kidnapped and taken to the secretive Institute for Post-Human Research to hide out. His parents believe he will be safer there as it was established by his grandfather who disappeared eight years earlier.
His grandfather also has an extraordinary talent for cracking codes and everyone thinks he used these skills to steal the last remaining traces of a strange and powerful substance known as luridium, originally discovered by Abraham Talley. William wants to learn more about Abraham Talley and why Talley thinks he would know anything about where his grandfather hid the luridium, so he breaks into the Institute’s Archives.
An enormous cybernetic robot hunts William down and attacks the Institute. William is taken to the Centre for Misinformation by Fritz Goffman who claims to be a friend of his grandfather. After escaping the Centre for Misinformation, William bumps into Iscia who he met at the Institute. Together they explore the underground tunnels of London on a quest to find his grandfather. But, they are trapped and William has to use all his ingenuity and code-cracking skills in order to escape with no idea who he can trust.
The second book, shows William adapting to his extraordinary talent for cracking codes when an ancient artefact mysteriously disappears from the Depository for Impossible Archaeology. William chases the antagonist from Norway, to England and then to the dizzying heights of the Himalayas. This race-against-time adventure pushes his skills to the limit to stop an ancient portal of untold power being unleashed.
The third book starts with William celebrating his thirteenth birthday when news breaks that Big Ben has suddenly stopped working due to a powerful ancient weapon. A series of codes and puzzle unravel to lead William to a network of long-lost underground tunnels beneath London.
The futuristic steam punk elements in each book will appeal to fans of Alex Rider, Percy Jackson and Peter Bunzl. It is ideal for boys and girls 8+. I was a little disappointed there were no codes to actually break in the story. We are simply told William solves them with his fantastic mind. However, William Wenton and the Luridium Thief, could spark off a multitude of code-breaking activities in the classroom.
These books are exciting page turners, which create vivid images in your mind. The plots are full of twists and turns that will keep young minds active and engaged. The characters are strong and realistic that make you feel for their dilemmas. I enjoyed reading these thrilling action adventures and hope the series continues.