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Book Synopsis

JOIN THE TEAM. SAVE THE WORLD. Twin geniuses Jacob and Kira are recruited to take part in a high-tech mission to protect the planet … but will their dreams of adventure come true, or is the threat too great to handle?

Jacob and Kira live in the heart of Mbale, Uganda with their conservationist mother and navigate life as unsuspecting geniuses; Kira with hopes to explore outside the hot terrains of Uganda, and conspiracy theorist Jacob, whose fear often holds him back from the answers he so desperately wants to uncover.

But when they discover that someone has been watching their every move in the hopes to enlist them in a top-secret agency called Transcendent, their lives are turned upside down.

Soon the twins are hurtled from the luscious landscapes of Mbale, to the sleek streets of London, where – alongside other selected protegees – they must undertake three rigorous trials, each more difficult than the last, to be accepted into Transcendent. If they are successful, they will be launched into space to complete a high-stakes mission to fight the greatest threat the world has ever seen.

Only, the twins soon realise they have more to contend with than they bargained for … is there a more sinister reason they have been chosen?

Two kids, one top-secret agency and an epic mission to save the world.

Our Review Panel says...

Kira and Jacob are aware that they are different. With pale skin and bright blue eyes, growing up in a small village near Jinja, Uganda, how could they not be? But it isn’t just their physical appearance that sets them apart. Home-schooled by their mother, Eunata, the two children are exceptionally gifted, with a strong moral compass that seems to lead them from one scrape into another.

When their latest skirmish involves a heavy from Ranatech, they realise that they may be making enemies in high places, why else would the biggest technology company in the world be taking an interest in them…

This is a cracking debut novel from Patrick Gallagher, interweaving his love of his maternal homeland, Uganda, with a passion for sci-fi, while ensuring an environmental message is conveyed, without ramming the message home. Set fractionally in the future with two lead characters, the story races along at break-neck speed, diving through one plot twist after another. I turned the last page with a disappointed “No!” as I longed for more and I’ll be eagerly awaiting the sequel as I am sure will any child who reads it!

Gallagher’s background as a Primary teacher also shows through, a rich source of vocabulary and an innate sense of topics that Upper KS2 children will engage with – environment, AI, hackers – make this an appealing book to pick up while the pace and storytelling should keep even the most reluctant reader along for the ride, as a class read if nothing else, although I suspect this will be well fought over at the bookcase too.

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