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Will Buster Trilogy - Book Review

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by Luna (subscribe)
mass-reader of fiction for the wrong age group
Published September 5th 2012
This story takes place sometime in the future. All languages but one have died, physical shops no longer exist, transportation holds conversations with passengers, and robot technology is commonplace.

The Will Buster books, by Odo Hirsch

In this world, Professor Gelmet creates a special helmet that can educate students more quickly and effectively than anything ever seen in history, all without the students doing an ounce of work or study. He whisks thirty children away to the Gelmet Academy to learn under his revolutionary education system. For a change, something that sounds too good to be true actually does turn out to be true.

However, over the course of their education, Will, Davina and Stanley realise that there's something else about this helmet that the professor isn't telling them, and work to upset the Professor's plans. Initially, this is a struggle over morality and ethics, but as the truth is revealed to the public, the stakes become higher and Will finds himself running for his life.

This series raises interesting questions about the use of technology, and what the human mind is capable of. It's one of those stories where particular lines jump out and prompt you to ask questions yourself. The character development suffers a little for the side characters, who almost seem two-dimensional at times.

The plot is interesting, suspenseful and full of twists and turns, which is what you would expect with a scary villain who is more intelligent than the protagonists. The futuristic setting is detailed yet well-explained such that it's easy to visualise, with enough connections drawn to our world today so that the story doesn't feel too remote.

This book is unfortunately out of print, and even with the advent of online shopping it can be hard to find (the Penguin pages for the books are here, here, here). Your local library is likely to have a copy of it, and I definitely recommend you try to get your hands on the first book. However, given my own experiences, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have the second and third books nearby.
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Why? Fun, gripping read
When: Whenever
Where: Wherever
Cost: Getting to library/purchase price
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