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From the Lightning Catcher series, volume 1

by Anne Cameron

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: May 7th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-211276-7
Publisher: Greenwillow

A trainee at the Perilous Exploratorium for Violent Weather and Vicious Storms on the Isle of Imbur tries to find his missing parents and prevent the unleashing of an eternal storm.

Eleven-year-old Angus McFangus is unexpectedly wrenched from the Devon home he shares with his inventor uncle Max to Perilous, where lightning catchers train to protect the world from extreme weather. Angus learns his own parents are respected lightning catchers who have mysteriously disappeared on an assignment involving the villainous Scabious Dankhart. He also discovers he’s a storm prophet—he has the rare ability to predict the weather. Adjusting to the perils of Perilous, Angus barely survives the weather tunnel and fog field trips while bonding with fellow trainees Dougal Dewsnap and Indigo Midnight. Worried about his parents, Angus concludes Dankhart has them and is using bizarre meteorological disasters to distract Perilous from his dastardly plot to “wreak havoc and cause delicious mayhem.” Despite the dangers, Angus, Dougal and Indigo bravely set out to thwart him. With its trio of likable school-chum heroes, its eccentric characters and their ingenious names, its imaginative boarding school setting and its supernatural adventure, this first of a projected four-book series has inevitable Harry Potter echoes.

Inventive weather-themed fantasy makes for decent, if derivative, fun. (maps) (Fantasy. 8-12)