The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine by Frank L. Cole #Bookreview

Title: The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine | Author: Frank L. Cole | Publisher: Delacorte Press | Pub. Date: 2017-8-8 | Pages: 320 | ISBN13: 9780399552823 | Genre: Kids Sci-Fi / Mystery | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received from the publisher for review consideration.

The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine

An adventure novel about four lucky kids and a mysterious, but thrilling ride for fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Jurassic Park!

CastleCorp and the famous Castleton brothers are unveiling the World’s Greatest Adventure Machine! The roller coaster is an experience like no other, and four lucky kids have won the chance to be the first to ride it.
There’s Trevor, whose latest stunt got him in trouble at school again. There’s Devin, whose father is pushing him to be the next Internet sensation. Nika’s wealthy grandfather isn’t too pleased about her participation. And Cameron, he’ll be the first to tell you, is a certified genius.
The whole world is watching. But as the kids set off on their journey, they begin to realize that there is perhaps more to their fellow contest winners than meets the eye. And the Adventure Machine? It might just have a mind of its own.
Join the contestants on their wild ride if you dare. Your adventure starts now!

Book cover for The World's Greatest Adventure Machine

The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine Review

A world-wide contest with only a few lucky winners that get to explore something no one has been inside before. An epic ride / adventure gone horribly wrong. There are definitely recognizable  (and enjoyable) elements in The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine. The blurb had it right when it said for fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factor and Jurassic Park. I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest it to kids who liked those books and/or movies. 

The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine is an enjoyable, fast-paced middle-grade read. Right from the beginning, as the main characters are getting introduced you know something is up. A mystery was being set up very competently for young readers. It was great fun to try to figure out exactly who the bad guys were going to be. And I have to admit that there was a bit of a twist at the end that I wasn’t expecting! It was nice to be surprised!

I liked the elements of ‘otherness’ that the characters had. There was a bit of diversity in both gender, race, and culture. Each kid had something that set them apart from their peers. I enjoyed how Frank L. Cole also made it clear that each of the things that set the kids apart could be strengths, but definitely came with their own set of weaknesses as well. They kids weren’t super-heroes, but they were definitely unique. With that being said, I felt like the only kids that were ‘believable’ were Trevor and Nika. Devin and Cameron just felt a bit off. Well, Devin honestly was just a bit of a jerk so I didn’t care for him. Cameron was the one who was ‘off’.

The adults were not really present for most of the novel, as is to be expected in a middle-grade novel. However, when the parents were in scene, it was very clear that most readers were going to find ‘their’ parent in someone. There was the controlling parent, the nervous Nelly, the constantly exasperated, and bewildered but well-meaning. The other adults were there to play a part, but fairly forgettable overall. The focus of this story is, after all, on The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine.

The language is accessible, even the kid’s differences are explained in ways that younger readers can easily grasp. The tension definitely builds up quickly once The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine hits its stride. While there is an element of that might be a little ‘scary’ at a couple of points, there aren’t any unsavory or offensive visuals. It’s perfectly suited for it’s intended age range. There was very little I didn’t care for, and most of that could have been solved simply by switching two of the things that make some of the characters unique around.

Overall, The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine is a solid middle-grade read. It’s definitely an adventure and a mystery. And yes, I have to say, it really does sound like the greatest ride type thing ever! I personally would love to experience it! Maybe one of these days it’ll actually become a reality. One can hope? Ah well, in the absence of reality, I guess we’ll just have to read about it!


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