Sabotage on the Solar Express by M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman

Written by M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman, Illustrations by Elisa Paganelli, Published by Macmillan Children’s

Co-authors, M.G.Leonard and Sam Sedgman, have created this unbelievable series of Adventures on Trains. Currently there are 4 books in the series with the 5th available on Netgalley and publishing in February. A 6th is to come in the next year and I just don’t ever want it to end.

When my approval came on Friday, I quickly shut myself away and settled down to read. It is never a dull moment with Nat and Hal on their travels and from experience in reading the entire series, I know to look for clues in Hal’s sketches and drawings (brilliantly brought to life by illustrator Elisa Paganelli). He notices so much about the world around him, and it generally all falls into place by the end of the tale, though I am generally still clueless as to the culprit. I love that about these books. There are twists, turns and uncertainties that leave the reader guessing the entire trip.

The authors do plenty of research and are lucky enough to have travelled on trains to ensure a realistic and relatable experience for the reader. From the noises of the pistons, the speed , the power, I was transported to each journey by their words.

The strength of this series lies in the settings, plot and characters. Nat ans Hal are fantastic and I love getting to know them a bit better on each journey. Hal, especially, is growing in confidence on each adventure, and Nat has come to trust Hal’s instincts.

This spectacular adventure, set in Australia, starts out with little trouble in sight and Nat and Hal are thoroughly enjoying themselves. They are guests of the Reza family (from a previous adventure), and are to be the first passengers on a futuristic train designed by a teen. When they board the Solar Express, things heat up and there are dangerous situations to survive. It looks as though this journey has been sabotaged.

It is down to the passengers on this driverless train to solve the mystery and save themselves. Highly thrilling and adventurous, I dare to say this is my favourite so far and their best adventure to date!

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