Crystal Force by Joe Ducie

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The Rig bk 2. Hot Key Books, 2015. ISBN 9781471404559 (Age: 13+) Recommended. After his daring escape from the most secure prison facility in the world The Rig (2014), Will Drake is on the run with Irene and Tristan the two prisoners who escaped with him. When he escaped he blew up the Rig with devastating results for himself - he has been exposed to Crystal - X - and his arm has begun to mutate into black crystal. Even though Crystal - X has given him supernatural powers and great strength, it could make him go mad. On the run from his enemies he meets a group who have been exposed to Crystal - X and want him to use his powers for good, but he doesn't know who he can trust. While The Rig (2014) was a thrilling escape story, Crystal Force is an exciting action packed adventure that has Will turning from a clever teen Houdini like character into a super power, and the story will certainly appeal to readers who also enjoy the heroes in Marvel comics. As Will and his companions try to hide from their enemies Will gradually realises that the black crystal is moving up his arm. He also has to contend with a voice that speaks in his head. He and Tristan are both interested in Irene, but the love interest is minor in comparison to the action.
The introduction of Noemi and her team who have been trained to use their superpowers adds an extra dimension to the story. Will is uncertain whether he can trust them and is initially unwilling to go to the place called Haven in Japan because he is most concerned about getting help for his mother who has cancer. Will really holds the reader's focus. He is such a clever character and his actions and what he is able to achieve constantly surprise. There are twists and turns, treachery, and big corporation interest all set against the background of the wonderful city of New York.
This was a page turner of a book and the series is sure to interest all lovers of adventure and may attract the reluctant reader with its Hollywood type action and adventure. The emotional ending is sure to attract the reader to the next book in the series.
Pat Pledger