The Crystal Code (The Billionaire Series) by Richard Newsome

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Text Publishing Australia, 2012. ISBN: 1922079030
(Ages 11-14) Recommended. The Crystal Code is the latest novel in The Billionaire Series by Robert Newsome. Readers who are familiar with this series of books which originally began with The Billionaire's Curse (2009) features the slightly more grown-up and world's youngest billionaire Gerald Wilkins. This instalment in the series begins with Gerald, his friends and family taking an ridiculously expensive Christmas holiday at their privately owned ski resort in a remote part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California. The extravagant Christmas holiday involved a journey via private plane to San Francisco followed by flying in a fleet of helicopters to the resort. On route to the ski resort, Gerald and his friends happen to come across a dry cleaning docket of the evil Sir Mason Green, who we also learn has conveniently just been released from prison. Once collected from the dry cleaners, the contents of Mason Green's jacket sets the scene for the further problems that the group of friends, Ruby, Sam, Felicity, and Ox (whose real name is Oswald) experience for the rest of the novel. Whilst the story line in The Crystal Code takes a little while to develop, with elements of jealously being resolved between Ruby and Gerald's new girlfriend Felicity, once the action begins, the novel becomes addictive to read. The now older teenagers in this latest edition of the series have developed new skills, including the ability to fly planes, which has them literally flying around the world in pursuit of their kidnapped family and friends. On the other hand, whilst the characters are older, the appropriateness of age level for which The Crystal Code is recommended remains for 11 to 14 year olds, as the violence is moderated.
Adam Fitzgerald