By Danny Rurlander
Spylark is a thoroughly modern adventure story. Mixing drone technology with stunning Lake District scenery, it will be devoured by Year 5 and 6 children with a thirst for adventure and escape from daily life.
Tom Hopkins is 13 years old and not much has gone right in his life in the last few years – his much-loved father is MIA, presumed dead; he walks with a stick since a freak school trip accident, and he also has to contend with a new school, bullies and living with his great aunt.
But soon, using his self-built drone, Tom witnesses a suspicious boat explosion on the lake and is drawn into a terror plot involving military helicopters, underground aqueducts, VIP assassinations and high-speed digger chases. But who will believe a teenager with no hard evidence? Tom is going to have to foil the plot himself!
Spylark is remarkably well-written debut novel. Danny Rurlander deftly juggles sketching realistic, multi-faceted personalities in the main child characters, wonderful landscape descriptions of the Lake District and a plot that never lets up.