Review Blog

Aug 02 2011

The mole hunt by Paul Collins

cover image

The Maximus Black Files. Book 1. Ford St, 2011. ISBN: 9781921665264.
(Age 13+) Highly recommended. Wow, what a high speed, action packed science fiction adventure story! Maximus Black is handsome, highly intelligent and out to bring RIM down and take over the world. Anneke Longshadow is a brilliant RIM operator who is determined to find the mole in the organisation, before he does irreparable damage. Together they speed across the universe in a spate of high action chases that take the breath away. Combine that with a lot of high tech gadgets, wicked weapons and intriguing disguise programs, and the book is a winner. (A longer synosopsis of the plot, written by Paul, can be read here.)
It's a pleasure to read a novel by an Australian author that is full of action, adventure and intriguing characters. I was swept along by the competition between Maximus Black and Anneke. Although I knew that Maximus was the baddie, Collins managed, with skilful characterisation, to make him into a strangely likeable character and I can't wait for the next two installments in the series to find out about his motivation for taking over the world. Anneke is a wonderful character, and I just loved her strength and fighting powers.
Readers who enjoyed the Alex Rider series will be happy to find another book to go on with. Older teens who liked the television show, Dexter, will also enjoy this portrayal of a seriously flawed but compelling character as he manipulates the world around him. I also think that this would be a good choice to be promoted for reluctant readers, especially boys, but girls will love it too, as Anneke Longshadow is a great character.
A blog post by Paul, who talks about his journey as a writer is also available.
Pat Pledger

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